My Favorite Mistake: A Tattoo Story

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 get the number 47. There's a group of friends that I became friends with between 1984 -1986 when we were all at Jimmy Swaggart's church, I was one of the few girls in this group, we are all still friends and you know how people have favorite numbers? Well 47 was our favorite number. Hard to explain but read This if want an explanation.)

So while visiting my family in Okeechobee Florida, I decided to get a tattoo that read "47" only I thought it would be cool to get it in another language, a language Tolkien invented for Middle Earth, the Elvish language of Sindarin.

In the Appendices of my Lord of the Rings book I found a list 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 for my tattoo. My sister and I went to the tattoo parlor and I branded myself forever with these beautiful symbols..of what I was sure was the number 47, in Elvish.

But several weeks later, while visiting, I made a shocking discovery. My interpretation of the list 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"?!!

I had to find out.

So I began the search for an Elvish language expert. I quickly found one in the Hall of Fire Chat on I sent them a picture of my tattoo and they sent me a detailed graph explaining the TRUE meaning of my tattoo.

The symbols were not numbers at all, the first symbol means "Feather" or the letter K and the second symbol means "Iron" or the letter J. So my tattoo could stand for King Jesus or, more appropriate as a branding on a human body in my case would be, Feather Iron.

Feather - kind; character; nature:
something very light, small, or trivial.

Iron - something hard, strong, rigid, unyielding.
an instrument, utensil, weapon, etc., made of iron.
a sword.

I began to see all of this as divine providence. The words Feather and Iron are like bi-polar extremes of strength and frailty, gentleness and grit.Yep, that's me.

And that's why it's my favorite mistake.


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