Ink Wings

Flying is only possible in life because someone once lent us their wings and taught us how.

There is an unquestionable power in large animals, even when they are small. They posses an undefinable confidence in their being that has always astounded me.  Today I started in my vet clinics large animal branch and I can’t tell you how good it felt to tumble back into a familiar part of the veterinary world, with some very interesting cases and learning opportunities. Even dealing with an aggressive bull today, while I certainly found myself jumpier than normal and a bit behind the ball in some ways with the other cases, I felt calm, happy, and composed. While I enjoyed my month of pets there will always be something that draws me to animals that outweigh me (by huge amounts).

I can’t say whether it is the challenge of handling them or the satisfaction of feeling capable to do so but, while many vets have suggested I might change my mind, I do still feel inexorably bound to work with large animals.

Perhaps this change is why my mind was drawn back again to horses on my drive home. I miss riding, it used to make up hours of my day almost every day. I’ve been distracted by this, and a phrase came to me (this may be a quote, but I have no idea who from): My boots give me roots, my horses give me wings.

While I know my horses aren’t the only thing that give me wings, I also know that many of the things that act as my wings are not in my life presently. My pets have been wings for me, all of which have passed away except my one cat who lives with my parents (and adores my dad) because my living arrangements are not pet friendly. Random adventures outdoors, especially when I lived out of town, have been little wings for me (it seems time is just very tight for this sort of thing at present). Travelling (for fun) has been my wings at times. All these things have stopped for the most part, due to university, due to commitments, and due to financial constraints. I miss my wings.

I am considering getting three tattoos in the near future to remind me that new wings are always in the making, and to honour the wings in my past:

  1. Line art style mountainscape—so I can look down and know there’s adventure around the corner to find if I just go out and find it. I would do this along the inside of my left wrist because I wear big chunky watches on my left hand and I would have it made so my watch covers it (professionalism and all, it would be nice to be able to cover it up).
  2. A quote, I want it to say: You were a great champion. When you ran, the ground shook, the sky opened and mere mortals parted.—this would be in honour of my first horse Smokey, my original wings. I don’t know where to put this one though, I was definitely considering a single line of spidery handwriting along my rib cage, horizontally, near sternum level but I feel like it might wrap all the way around my back. I also considered doing it in two lines but vertically along my ribs (sort of in line with where my arm rests when I’m standing).
  3. Three paw prints no bigger than a thumbprint—one for each of my border collies who have passed on. This would go along the side of my foot just above the walking surface (and yes I know they fade faster there), the symbolism being that each dog still walks with me. I haven’t decided whether I want them on the right or left and whether I would have them on the inside of my foot near the arch or along the outside of my foot.

What do you guys think? Which do you think would be the best? Would you do all of them? Do you think tattoos are unprofessional? Any artsy people out there who want to draw what they imagine would look good? (I know the invariably cliche tattoo design request, no pressure!)


One comment

  1. Su Melville · June 7, 2017

    Hi Erika, I know your dilemma as I’m contemplating my first (and probably only) tattoo but want to be able to cover it to remain professional, however I also want to be able to see it, after all why else would I want one! I’m considering my left wrist but I’m not 100% sure so I’m waiting for the moment it all fits into place and I ‘know’ – there will probably be a blog… I think I will design mine and once I find a tattoo artist I love ask for guidance making it a collaboration 😊 Good luck and let us all know how you get on!

    Liked by 1 person

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