My Favorite Mistake; A Tattoo StoryFilm, Visual Arts — By Carole Smith Turner on March 10, 2012 at 7:47 am
It was the summer of 2002. My obsession with Middle Earth had been kicked into high gear by the release of the movie version of The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring.
And I was itching for a tattoo…
I decided I wanted to pay homage to my “gang” number, which is 47. Just kidding, I don’t really have a gang number. There was just a group of friends that I hung out with between 1984 -1986, at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, I was one of the few girls in this group of friends, we are all still friends and you know how people have favorite numbers? Well 47 was our favorite number. Hard to explain but you can see a good explanation HERE.
Anyways, while I was visiting my family in Okeechobee Florida, I decided to get a tattoo that read “47″ But I also thought-being such a huge Lord of the Rings fan- that it would be cool to get the tattoo in the Elvish language of Sindarin, which is a language Tolkien invented for Middle Earth. So I went to the Appendices of my Lord of the Rings book and found a grid of letters, numbers and symbols of the Sindarin language. I picked the symbol that was beside the number 4 and the symbol that was beside the number 7. My sister and I went to the Tattoo parlor and I branded myself forever with these beautiful symbols..symbols I was sure were the number 47 in Elvish…
But several weeks later, while visiting theonering.net, I made a shocking discovery. My interpretation of the grid of numbers and symbols had been incorrect. As I started to realize that the symbols I had on my hip were not a Sindarin 4 or 7 I started to panic, “What the heck have I branded myself with? What if it’s ‘I love Sauron’ or ‘Death to Frodo’ or ’666′?!! Why did I think I knew how to read a grid of Elvish letters, numbers and symbols?
I knew what I had to do. I had to find someone who could tell me what my tattoo really meant. So I began the search for an Elvish language expert. I quickly found one in the Hall of Fire Chat on theOneRing.net I sent them a picture of my tattoo and they sent me a detailed graph explaining the TRUE meaning of my tattoo.
The symbols I had thought were 4 and 7 were not numbers at all, the first symbol meant “Feather” and the second meant “Iron”.
“Ok”, I thought, “I can live with that. It’s nothing demonic or evil. It’s actually kinda cool.”
And then I began to see all of this as divine providence.
The words “Feather” and “Iron” really do describe a precise tension, the extremes of strength and frailty, gentleness and grit…
Feather-kind; character; nature:
something very light, small, or trivial.
Iron-something hard, strong, rigid, unyielding.
an instrument, utensil, weapon, etc., made of iron.
So the tattoo that I got by mistake means the extremes that are always pulling at me, but the best place to be is right in the middle of those extremes and also to at times embrace being trivial, small, light, kind and other times embrace being made of iron, an instrument, strong, unyielding.
That’s pretty cool when you think about it.
Sure, I know that most of you are not thinking how cool the meaning is, rather you’re thinking, “She’s getting all this from symbols, that come from a made up language, spoken by Elves in the fictional world of Middle Earth, and she’s making this tattoo mishap spiritual? She’s nuts.”
I know this is geekness personified and I’m OK with that. But no matter if it is, I still think God set it all up to happen just as it did…
That is why it’s my favorite mistake.