“It looks like one of those telephone towers, the fake tree ones,” my mom tells me as we drive to NYC as I return to college after an extreme hiatus. She is referring to the tattoo between the back of my ankle and my calf on my right leg. She makes this judgemental remark as she offers to pay me thousands of dollars to get it removed. Technically speaking, it rests on my Achilles tendon. Ironically, the placement was not meant to represent any particular Achilles or Achilles-heel derived meaning. The tattoo rests there to be visible.
Jacob, the heel grabber, was a usurper. He wrestled with his brother, in the womb, and in life, and wrestled with God. A very imperfect and complicated character, Jacob, in his wrestling with god, is given a new name. Through his struggle, he is reborn, and renewed. My tattoo is in part, a rejection of my upbringing. An impulsive decision, it was a way of shedding my old skin. In tattooing my Achilles’ tendon, I am writing my own narrative. By creating a part of my body apart from the genes of my parents, I am renaming my body, and imprinting it with my own mark. A marking of my own wrestling with God.