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From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."

The sword on my back was my first tattoo, and it's of Anduril, Aragorn’s sword from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Anduril was first called Narsil, and was the sword that (temporarily) vanquished the evil of Sauron from Middle Earth, though it was broken in the process. Thousands of years later, the sword was reforged into something stronger and better, and was a central part of the eventual (permanent) defeat of the Dark Lord.

…Yeah. I'm definitely a geek. But I also chose this image because I identify strongly with the symbolism of this particular sword. At the time I got this tattoo, I was coming out of several long, difficult years of struggle with mental illness. I was finally starting to do better, but I knew I still had a long road ahead of me. Having Anduril inked on me was a reminder that I was being reforged and remade, and that I would be able to face the battles ahead, stronger than before. 

The seven stars around the sword are both a nod to the heraldry of the King’s country of Gondor (definitely a geek), and to my four immediate family members and the Trinity as a representation of my faith. Along the blade is also the scripture reference for 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" Many years have passed since I had this tattoo done, but it's still a reminder that there is always a place for bravery, hope and healing in my life, no matter how broken I might feel.


Books for Tats

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. This graphic novel is a devine mix of female heroism, nostalgia, and nerdiness!

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Paper Girls

Brian K. Vaughan