I WILL HUFF AND PUFF AND BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
There's an old First Nations folktale that speaks of the two wolves that exist in each of us. One is good; he represents empathy, kindness, humility. The other wolf is bad; he represents fear, anger, grief.
A grandfather once explained that there is an eternal battle between both wolves inside each and every one of us. His grandson then asked, “Which wolf wins?”
To which the grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”
On my side, I have transformed my first tattoo of The Creation of Adam into my Bad Wolf. I say “transformed” and never cover-up because I respect my first tattoo and have no regret for it. It was half of a friendship tattoo that honoured a now stranger. So as my journey continued, the meaning of the tattoo evolved and so the piece needed to evolve as well.
My Creation Of Adam tattoo was a symbol of a special bond I once shared with my best friend. But as the battle between the good and bad wolf inside me intensified, I encouraged the Bad Wolf. I let my grief destroy every semblance of goodness in me. I replayed every painful memory in my mind to torture myself. I fueled my anger. I made a home in my sadness. In choosing to dwell in my sorrow, I let the Bad Wolf inside me be victorious in its rampage.
My once strongest friendship ended because I became my worst self. Bad Wolf is a tribute to the worst parts of me. The wolf is looking back because part of me will always be looking back on Daniel’s death in pain. If I’m going to make a conscious effort to live for Daniel, then not all of me can always be consumed with sadness anymore.
To me, it’s almost poetic that my friendship tattoo is the one that transformed into the visual representation of the worst parts of me. I find it poetic because she left me for that very reason; at the time, I only welcomed the worst parts of myself. If there is anything that you will come to realize about me: it’s that I’m a walking metaphor. Everything I do is decided with calculated precision. It all means something to me.
To me, Wolf is the part of me that can stay sad forever. This part of me can acknowledge that a world without Daniel is tragic. This part of me can howl in pain in the middle of the night. We all lost Daniel, but I also lost a part of myself.
To the most cruel and painful parts of myself, this is me showing you forgiveness.
Bad Wolf was actually a result of winning a Tattoo contest held by Playhouse Studios. They were recognized as 2019’s top choice tattoo shop in Mississauga. This is the same studio where I got my Sword tattoo to honour Daniel (spoiler alert for the next blog post). I like to think Daniel plays a hand in how lucky I get at things. He has a knack for maneuvering certain circumstances in my life. Even as a ghost, he is quite the romantic. It’s cute that he helped me win a free tattoo :)
In honour of its 2019 recognition, the shop decided to have a tattoo giveaway. I had already gotten a tattoo at the shop and supported all the talented artists. In order to win the contest, you just had to follow all the Playhouse artists and make a story on why you think you should win. Not only did I get picked, but so did one of my closest friends.
My friend got her first tattoo that day and it is a piece that honours Daniel’s memory. Her and Daniel were friends before we even dated. It’s the most beautiful thing to me to see Daniel live on in those that remain and have love for him. His energy is so grand and so captivating that it travels through time and space to still welcome us all together.
All around, Bad Wolf represents both extremely painful and extremely happy memories.
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