Do you smell something? my branding experience
i've been pierced. i've stretched. i've been tattooed. i've been cut.
next on my list was branding. i've known for a long time that i wanted a
brand, but i wasn't sure of the design. several possibilities had been
floating around in my head, but none of them seemed right. i narrowed it
down to two choices, then realized that one of the first ideas i had come
up with was the right one. i would be branded with the rune Uruz. it's a
very simple design, just straight lines, and very symbolic. it represents
the wild energy present in nature that, if properly channeled, can be used
as a creative force. it is also a talisman for strength. i used to wear
Uruz on a necklace, but the charm broke. i took this as a sign that i
wasn't supposed to wear it anymore, so i took a break from it. when
thinking about a possible brand, it came into my mind. i didn't dismiss
it, but it wasn't immediately apparent that it was the design. upon
further reflection, i decided that it was.
i was planning on going to new york to visit Keith Alexander and see some other friends, so i decided that that was the time for the branding. when an immense ice storm hit my area the day before my planned trip, i called Keith to make sure that the storm didn't hit new york as hard as it hit maryland. he assured me that everything was alright, and said he had a question for me. PBS had contacted Keith about an interview, and wanted to film someone getting branded. that sounded fine with me, so i told him to give them the go ahead for the interview.
i worked friday night, got very little sleep, got up early on saturday, and rode with a friend to new york. when we got to Keith's shop, he was in the middle of his part of the interview. after about ten minutes, he was done, and we talked a bit while the tv crew got ready to interview me. i answered all of their questions, mostly about how i got the idea, if i was influenced by anyone (no, Michael Jordan is not an influence for me), and that kind of thing. nothing groundbreaking by any means. after my interview, they told me that they wanted to ask a couple of questions afterwords, and i said that i could answer them right now. i said, "no, it didn't hurt." they said, "you tell us that afterwards."
now it was time to do the deed. while Keith was getting set up, i got
myself ready by doing my controlled breathing exercises and focusing my
energy on what was about to happen. i wanted to make sure that i would be
able to block out the distractions that the camera crew were causing. if
i wasn't able to, i was fully prepared to kick them out of the shop until
afterwords. i felt ok with the situation, so i let them stay. the brand
is centrally aligned on the back of my neck/top of my back. it's kind of
hard for me to see it, but i trusted Keith with the placement. i was
seated, leaning over a table with my hands braced in front of me. i've
been present for many brandings, so i knew what Keith was doing behind me
without seeing it. i could hear him turn on the torch, light it, and heat
the metal. i was so focused on my breathing that i cold barely get out a
yes when Keith asked if i was ready, but i guess i nodded my head or
something, and he got the message. i felt a little tense as Keith braced
against me to make the first strike, so i focused even more on relaxing
the muscles. i could feel the heat of the metal, and then it was a blur
of the smell of burning flesh, the sizzling sound, and the rush of
energy as Keith pressed the metal into my skin. it couldn't have been
more than a second or two, but i felt all of these things coming together
at once, and it seemed much longer. i felt no tension for the second
strike, and the energy was just as intense. it seemed like a long time
passed between the second strike and the third, but i kept my focus and
continued my breathing. i felt like i tensed up a little more for the
third strike, but i was totally relaxed for the fourth and final strike.
i continued my breathing for a minute of two, basking in the energy that was flowing through me and the room, and wishing that i had picked a design that would have required more strikes }:). when i felt ready, i opened my eyes to find a camera in my face, and the crew looking at me quite oddly. i turned to them and said, "you can use the clip from earlier. it didn't hurt. i feel great." i got up, gave Keith a hug, and went outside for some fresh air. when i came back in, the interviewer wanted to get more from me, and wanted me to sit back down so it would look like it was right afterwards. i went through his questions with him, but i was so full of energy that i'm sure i babbled somewhat. they wanted to film Keith on the computer, and doing other stupid things around the shop. they even filmed us eating a pizza ("in their natural habitat, branders and brandees are known to consume pizza. we'll keep a safe distance so we don't diturb their meal."). i asked Keith if i had moved or anything, and he said no, that i had been like a rock. we then waited around as the other people we were expecting showed up, and hd a wonderful evening. all in all, a great day.
i've been irritating the brand as much as possible. it's a nice change
from healing a tattoo or a piercing. instead of pampering it, i get to
piss it off as much as possible. what fun. since i'm a white boy, it
probably won't scar as much as on some people, but i will be happy with
the results no matter what.
this was a wonderful experience for me. i'd like to send a big thank you to Keith for doing this for/to me, and for putting as much energy into the procedure as i did. having him work on me is a pleasure. the PBS show is set to air sometime in early february. pictures should be available soon.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 27 Jan. 2013
in Misc. Brands