According to myth the owl was a symbol of wisdom and strategy. An owl sat on goddess Athena’s blind side, so that she could see the whole truth. In Ancient Greece, the owl was a symbol of a higher wisdom, and it was also a guardian of the Acropolis.
Native Americans associate the meaning of owl with wisdom, foresight, and keeper of sacred knowledge. The owl spirit animal represents the deep connection that you share with wisdom, good judgment, and knowledge. The meaning of the owl also has something to do with change or transition. It denotes an approaching event that will affect life as you know it.
Why is she ranting about owls, you might wonder. Isn’t this a blog that revolves around music in general, and Bruce Springsteen music in particular? Yes, you are so right, but it is also a blog that, on occasion, deals with more personal issues of the blogger herself. As it happens, I recently had an owl tattooed on my arm and I wanted to share that experience with my you (and baby don’t you fret, Springsteen will be mentioned very briefly too).
Since I had already planned on spending a week of the Christmas holiday in Cologne I contacted Reinkarnation Tattoo & Piercing to see if it was possible to squeeze in a tattoo appointment and sure enough, I was directed to the tattoo artist Matt Roscoe, who works in the studio in Hochstadenstraße (Reinkarnation has two studios, one in Brüsseler Straße and one in Hochstadenstraße) and an appointment was made for January 2nd.
About a week before the prearranged meeting Matt sent me the draft of the owl he had drawn after my wishes, and with some minor adjustments everything was set for the tattoo session.
I had a few trivial concerns before going to the studio and one was what language would be spoken. I understand German perfectly and I speak it reasonably well, but it is harder for me to express thoughts and ideas in German than in English. In our previous correspondence we had alternated between the two languages and although his name sounded English, I wasn’t sure what he would prefer.
The studio was rather deserted this first cold and windy weekday of year 2020. The only ones working were Matt and the shop manager Peter. I realised quickly that I needn’t to be worried about the language barrier. As a matter of fact, since Matt originally is from Michigan, USA he was kind of relieved when I asked if we could speak English.
Other people’s tattoos (and lives) are very interesting to me and as I saw Matt’s own sleeve (a beautiful Beatles composition) I had to ask him about it. It struck me that what he told me about his fascination for the Beatles is that it’s somewhat similar to the one I have for Bruce Springsteen and his music.
To cut a long story short: almost four hours of tattooing later, after a nice chat about music, football and life, the piece was done. I was wrapped up in plastic foil and provided with a Reinkarnation goodie bag I stepped out to the dark streets of Cologne. I’m very happy with Matt’s work and I’m likely to return if/when I need another tattoo.
When I started writing this blog entry it was first called ”So walk tall, or baby, don’t walk at all”, an iconic Springsteen quote that, for me, means that whatever you choose to do in life, you should do it with pride and confidence. Others will respond to the positive manner in which you carry yourself.
So walk tall, or baby, don’t walk at all
No doubt some of the people around me will smirk at my tattoo (tattoos aren’t everyone’s cup of tea), but I couldn’t care less. I love it. It goes well with my “Springsteen arm” and if it, by chance, helps me to become a bit wiser and to walk a little bit taller into the new year – fantastic!