by Nic Olson

I’ve never been much of an artist. Usually my circles end up looking like triangles and my people end up looking like deformed Thundercats, but on the beautiful State Holiday that Mizoram provided me, I sat down, with endless patience and some sort of drive, to draw a picture. Sure, it still is a bit rough, but this is probably my best drawing since I drew Andre Agassi in grade 4. That took me hours.

I guess I can talk about it here. It is not just a random bunch of things that look cool on a coat of arms, but everything represents something, to me. Altogether the picture represents family. The coat of arms for the relationship I have with my siblings and parents, and also friends. More specifically…

Two Candles: mom and dad, Wilf and Laura, the mamas and the papas. I chose candles because they have always been a light for me, showing me where to go, what to do, and giving me a pretty good sense of direction for my life. In India, you get to know candles pretty well, and when all else fails, turn to the candles for light. They are always there, always reliable, always helpful, always loving.

Eye: Jerms. I have always looked up to him, ever since I can remember. He has showed me the way to do things, and the way not to, and has always been watching out for me. As an older brother he has looked down to his siblings and taken care of them. Plus he’s got such a handsome gaze and dreamy eyes.

Hourglass: Kris. My thoughts of Kris have changed drastically in the past 5 years. For most of my youth, I was afraid of him, and just avoided him. Now, we are great friends, hangout all the time, play soccer, watch movies. The hourglass represents how he has changed in my eyes, and how our relationship has changed so much.

Star: Melissa. She always told me that she was going to get a star tattoo because she liked stars, and I always thought that was the worst idea ever. Melissa has often been one of my better friends, probably because we fight so often. We’ve been so close for so many years that it is hard not to be a friend with that kind of person. We have the same sense of humor, although mine is a bit grosser, we have laughed at many things together. She has always been a sort of star in my life.

Roses: The two roses connecting, one bloomed and one bud, represent my friends, old and new. The roses are connected, just as old and new friends are, and they will grow together.

Key and Lock: Also representing friends and all the different kinds of friends I have. I have so many friends, from so many backgrounds, with so many different interests, there is no one type, or one kind of friend I have, the key is open to all.

The Banner: The banner has the words ‘In a clouded world you kept me clear, and there’s a part of you in all I’ve done.’ This is a lyric from the song ‘Libertine’ by Good Riddance, and it talks about how my family, and my friends, are a part of me, and how they bring light to my life, and how they take away the clouds. In everything I’ve done, they are a part of it. In each smile I have, they are a part of it. The picture in the top right corner of the coat of arms represents this quote.

Just thought I’d share that with you. I had a good time drawing it and I hope it made sense. If you are reading this, you likely had some influence on this picture, in some way. I will likely add more to it someday. Maybe I’ll permanently needle it onto my body someday. I guess we’ll see.