Me And My Artist's Virginity
My branding was actually the first time I had ever really delved into the world of body modification. It was a decision I had made years ago due to my lack of interest in tattoo's and piercings. It almost made me feel that if I had gone the route of a tattoo or piercing then I would only be joining a growing list of people who were hoping on the wagon. More importantly I wanted something that would stand the test of time and never be taken away from me. The design I had chosen was from the I Ching. A rather unoriginal idea but it had more meaning than anything I could've designed. These brands weren't for aesthetic purposes, they were to remind me of my past and where I had come from.
The one I was to have done was the hexagram from the I Ching which stood for Heaven. Heaven in Taoism, the I Ching being it's principle text, represented creation, productivity, and action. The other brand which is to be on my left shoulder will be the hexagram for Earth, which represents the receptive, that which is passive and follows. Their meaning to me would make this story much longer than it would need to be. Email me if you want to pick my brain.
I had met a girl who was a bachelor's in nursing and was just finishing up school, she had access to the knowledge the sterile environments and the wherewithall to do what needed to be done. We discussed the event at length many times before the chosen day arrived, going over the procedure, the amount of pain involved, and the healing process. Soon we had acquired our needed materials which included, betadine, a clean tip for a soldering iron, gauze pads, and an iron will to undertake my chosen mission.
The weather was rather gloomy the day of the branding. The wind was howling through the trees, yet at the same time it felt just right for what was about to take place. I'd been gathering my thought and preparing myself months in advance mentally. There wasn't any real preparation physically lest I mar the experience I was about to undertake.
She had sterilized the chair I was to sit in and had all the supplies needed and set out. My mind had been set in stone ever since I woke up. I couldn't have possibly been in a better state of mind. My focus was at its apex. The iron was hot and searing ready to do what needed to be done.
I sat there for about 30 minutes having my artist sketch the design out on my arm. After having my friend put in Sigur Ros for me, one of my favorite CD's, and letting me smoke one last cigarette before the branding. We felt it necessary at the time to have an extra person on hand to hold my arm just in case it got to be too much for me. Fortunately it wasn't necessary.
She held the sterilized knife to my arm as a straight edge and asked me if I was ready, to which I just took a deep breath, nodded, and closed my eyes. Then the tip bore into the top layer of skin and deeper as I heard the skin crackle and pop. My body leapt into panic but my mind kept my in the chair without uttering a peep. The first line took about ten seconds to complete and when she finished I just held the leather bit in my mouth and waited for the her to start the second which was done without heeding. Again I felt the metal tip sear it's way through my skin, yet this time I felt this little door open inside of me. All the pain I was going through was suddenly overshadowed by this immense elation! She had finally finished the second line when I let out a deep breath and my eyes rolled down from under my eyelids. This wave of relief washed over me along with this incredulous smile.
I took about a one minute break before we began again and as it had been before the pain was like an overflowing cup. There was only so much pain before it was replaced by more or transported to another place. Slowly but surely we finished. The first 4 lines weren't deep enough but by then I was more than ready for any adjustments. The bottom 2 were quite deep. As were the rest after they were fixed. Remember this was her first branding too. After was all said and done I had 6 horizontal lines on my right shoulder each about 1/4 inch deep. Looking at my shoulder from the side you could see the deep incisions the tips and burning had made.
I stayed for quite some time with my artist and friends and enjoyed the rest of the evening. The date was 10/22/06 when I had this done. It hasn't been long but I still feel the centered ground it gave me. I felt so alive afterward, so flush with energy. This was only the first of one. My other shoulder will be done in the near future. I can only way in anticipation now, yet this time without any fear or doubt.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Nov. 2006