Ankle Piece Part II, August, 2001

L: Duran symbol R: Imperial Seal

Hopefully you have already read about Part I of the ankle piece. Most of what you need to know about this second installment is over there. Bascially, I had the intention of making the area around my left ankle an exploration of childhood obsession/escapism/fantasy. The symbols would represent the survival tools I used while growing up to escape some painful circumstances. Ultimately my ankle would provide a timeline; as I grew from a child, through my teens, and on towards adulthood. I envisioned the tattoo's final image to be a symbol of New York City, representing my ultimate escape when I left home at the age of 18 to go to college.

The Imperial Seal from the Star Wars movies is the second installment of this piece. Honestly, I can't remember which obsession came first; Duran Duran or Star Wars. They both materialized around the same time, however, which is why they are the first two symbols that I got tattooed.

I don't remember the original Star Wars film. My earliest memories of this sci-fi phenomenon are from the second film, The Empire Strikes Back. I am not sure why it made such an impression on me; maybe I was drawn to the overall depressing nature of the movie (everyone is screwed at the end of this one), or maybe it was the romantic subplot or the horror of Han Solo being encased in carbonite. Whatever it was, I become obsessed. I fell head over heels for Harrison Ford (Raiders of the Lost Ark came out a year later; I think that helped!), I collected the trading cards, and I thought about the film constantly. I incorporated the movie and their stars into my daydreams and fantasies, using the backdrops of Hoth, Cloud City, and the Mellenium Falcon to create my own stories; where of course I was always the star.

As part of my ankle piece, I knew that the Imperial Seal was the right image to represent this aspect of my childhood escapism. The symbol represents the Empire, led of course by the Emperor and his disciple Darth Vader. I tried to find some screen shots to show the symbol as it is seen in the movie, but I couldn't find any. I believe that the symbol appears on the helmets and uniforms of the imperial troops. I also believe that the origin of the symbol is from the shape of the huge laser gun on the Death Star that has a habit of destroying planets. However, I might be wrong. I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan on the planet, so I honestly don't know everything about the origins of the symbol. Regardless, it is an obscure reference to those who don't know the much about the films, yet it is obvious to any Star Wars fan exactly what it refers to. For me it represents the second movie, since at the end of the film the Empire prevails over the Rebellion. And this is the movie that made the biggest impact on me in my youth.

There are various representations of this symbol, and I just chose the simplest one and snagged a picture from the Internet. I didn't alter any of the lines; the picture above is the same one I brought to the tattoo artist (Darren at Rising Dragon, of course). I don't have any big story to relate about the actual tattoo session; sure, it hurt (the ankle bone is a terrible place for a tattoo), but it was quick so I didn't suffer for long. I had told Darren the tattoo was "quick and easy" but when he saw the design he scoffed; there is actually a good deal of small, parallel lines in the design that made the tattoo a bit of a challenge.

So now that I have these two parts of my ankle piece, I am not sure what to have done next. I was thinking about a small caduceus, but I already have a big one on my leg. I was thinking of the Brooklyn Bridge as my NYC symbol, but now I'm thinking a downtown sillhouette with the World Trade towers might be a better idea. It gets even more troublesome because my newest tattoo, the feline body piece, comes around my left leg and covers my outer ankle. So I don't have all that much room for additional installments to my "childhood escapism" piece.

For now I'll leave it with these two symbols. Together they represent the two largest obsessions of my childhood. Maybe the ankle piece should be complete as it is; an exploration of fantasy and escapism as a child, without any more exploration as to what happenned when I grew older and on through my teenage years.

Who knows? As with other tattoos, it's a ideas will come, I am sure, and when they do, I will be sure to have them at this site to share.

I hate my feet, so there are no close-ups of the tattoo.
Here's a good contextual reference, though...

Check out the final part of the ankle piece, a symbol of Trust and Faith

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