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My cutting

ng to have a cutting done was one of the more sporadic decisions of my life. I heard through the grapevine that an artist with an impeccable reputation was coming into town, I immediatley made an appointment. I had met Raelynn before because she did a piece on a friend of mine quite a while back. I loved the unusual features of a cutting and I knew that I wanted something unusual as well. I was also studying traditional African religions in college at the time, so having this cutting done had more than asthetic meaning for me. It was going to be symbolic of my rite of passage from childhood into womanhood. When I made my appointment I had no idea what kind of pattern I wanted done. I knew I wanted it in the small of my back and that I wanted it to be a good size. I landed up choosing a Tantric yantra with lots of circles, squares and triangles in the pattern. I loved it. I was nervous as all hell when my appointment day arrived. Raelynn was great though. She immediatley told me how she was going to do everything (transfering the image, using the scapel, etc). The funny thing was she took one look at the pattern I wanted to use and laughed. She said it would look like hamburger meat. We decided to nix some of the lines and circles and keep it a bit more simple. I still loved it. We also decided that when she was finished with the cutting, she would put white tattoo ink in it in order for it to keloid better. Some people but black ash in it, some people leave it alone, etc. I like the mystery of light white lines of a scar, so I chose to put in the white tattoo ink. And then the process began... And it hurt like hell! At first I wanted to fully experience the moment but it got way too intense for me. I turned green and was about to pass out. Thank goodness I had my two friends there with me to help me breathe and concentrate. The whole process with the scapel took about 45 minutes, which was probably the perfect amount of time. I was a bit shaky and suprised that I didn't handle it with a bit more control. I have had a lot of piercings done (nipples, hood, inner labia, etc.) so I thought that I would be able to take myself out of the pain. the sensation was totally different and it knocked me on my ass. It felt like someone was scratching the nails VERY hard down my back. After about 15 minutes I was able to control my energy and the experience was overwhelming. We didn't even land up doing all of the pattern that we decided on, which is okay because I like it a lot more this way. Next she took some blood prints of my cutting - probably about 10 in all - for me to keep. I think you are supposed to burn them at sawaine (don't quote me on that), but I have given them to people who have had an enormous influence in my life. She then put on the white tattoo ink, which in a strange way was pretty soothing. By that time I was so adrenalized and shaky that her touch in the area with the milky texture of the ink was really nice. bandaged me up with saran wrap, and I was on my way! I left the saran wrap on for a week, like she told me to, so the ink could setting in the cuts and irritate it. My friend and I had to keep on pushing out blood, ink, and other healing "juices" out of the bandage on an hourly basis for the first couple of days (not for the faint of stomach). When I first took of the wrapping I was in the shower and I saw that I had a rash from all the blood and other gunk that had been in that one area. The rash and the scab that the cutting formed all took about 1 month to heal completely. When the last bit of scab fell off I was able to look at this special new piece of me. My cutting is the most beautiful thing. It is a subtle white pattern of a scar that has a variety of significance to me. It was a transitionary act for me and is representative of my constant journey through life. Everyone that sees it loves the way that it looks and the way that it feels. I absolutley love it and I know if I bump into Raelynn again, she will love it.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 April 2000
in Scarification

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Artist: Raelynn+Gallina
Studio: +
Location: Boston

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