“Do you have a fox?”
Before I entered the shop on Wednesday morning, I knew I would be asked about my choice. Admittedly, I hadn’t thought that would be the question asked, but I wagered curiosity would be present. I would be curious. (Of course this is no surprise, my fatal flaw is curiosity. It will get me killed some day. But, at least I’ll learn something the moment before I enter into eternity.) I thought, for some time, about how I would answer the impending question.
Why did I choose a fox?
On Wednesday morning I was inked for the first time. I have been (seriously) thinking about tattoos and their role in my life for some nine years, now. I had considered celtic knots, symbols that reminded me of my family, and wise words from the ages. The obvious choice, the right choice, hadn’t factored into it until relatively recently.
I won’t be so pompous as to say that Fox is my power animal. I don’t have a deep spiritual belief, so I won’t let myself off of a hook that easily. That being said, foxes are enormously important to me. They are my favourite animal. They have my utmost respect and awe. Into so many aspects of my life I have weaved fox characteristics. From the choice of “vyxen” as a typical handle (though, I admit, that’s for the definition of “a woman regarded as quarrelsome, shrewish, or malicious.” But it is very pleasing to know that the term for female fox fits so well into my personality) to my elation at sporting the auburn locks associated to Vulpes vulpes.
It is the way they look, the way they move, the sounds they make. It is their appearance in folk lore, and descriptions therein. It is the wonder I feel as I look upon them; I am moved, and I am awed at the sight of a fox.
My friends and family who have seen the tattoo have been most complimentary. They have lauded Shawn endlessly (and rightfully), and a vast majority of them have said something to the effect of “that is perfect for you!” I may not know exactly how to explain why Fox was my choice, but it is apparent that it was the correct choice. They are a part of my life. And now? Now I am closer to foxes than I have been in my life. I carry that symbol with me. I will forever be reminded of their role in my development and their lessons in my life.
I have a fox, now. (Thank you, Shawn.)
I have been waiting, most impatiently, to write a blog about tattoos (re-inspired when Kendra wrote her piece). I feel very strongly about them. There is no place in my life for a tattoo that is meaningless. This, I believe, is part of the reason it has taken me this long to get a tattoo. There was nothing in my life that was terribly important to me. I had to be in the right place in my life. I have walked a rocky path, I am still avoiding some potholes and tripping over others, and parts of my psyche are becoming more solid. This is one of those parts. And? A fitting artist had not entered my life before. Not until I worked the bookstore gig was I able to meet someone I thought might be able to handle the challenge. I was more than right, and more than pleasantly surprised (this, of course, is not to say that I doubted Shawn and his ability. But, I was nervous – rightly so, I figure! It’s permanent!).
I had a conversation, a few months back, about tattoos with a very dear friend of mine. We chatted about the importance of the artist. The artist is almost more important than the design. This is someone you have to trust a great deal. If your hairdresser musses a cut, your hair will grow back. If your tattoo artist musses your vision, you pay a great deal more money and go through a great deal more pain to remove what they’ve done – or get another piece to cover the offending one. It is an intimate affair, having ink driven into your skin. (A relationship between a sadist and a masochist, for sure.) I chose very well. I chose a Master.
I feel more complete. Is that strange? I feel more like me, now. (My only hope, now, is that I don’t louse up my after-care responsibility. It’s such a beautiful piece of art, I would hate to be the one to ruin it. Keep your fingers crossed for me, kids.)