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My Embedded Flower

Unlike so many people I have always been incredibly uncomfortable with my sexuality. It wasn't a subject regularly discussed in my growing years. The terrible sex ed I got at school and the gossip of girls was about all I knew. The idea that sexuality was wrong and something to be hidden still has a slight hold on me. I never dated anyone in high school and to deal with the loneliness I told myself I wasn't missing out on anything. But I've come a long ways from that. I'm getting accustomed to the idea of my femininity, and I like it. In July 2007 I started to love myself for the first time ever. All of me. It only took me 21 years.

Up until now all my relationships with men have been very manipulative and heart wrenching. During the summer of 2007 I found all the pieces of my recently shattered heart and put them back together. Instead of pouring all my love out to some undeserving soul I turned it inward. And my personal way of love is giving. I give all I can to those I love. Being in love with myself for the first time meant showering myself with appreciation. Of course the idea of making myself more beautiful in my own eyes was one of the first thoughts I had. Cue Wayde Dunn.

I was on a big soul finding adventure when I found out Wayde would be in Des Moines when I got home. I kept the idea of a scar in my head but at the moment I was busy haggling for another night in the hostel in British Columbia. After I got home I was in a decent chunk of debt. But I told myself this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Its not everyday a world renowned artist comes through your area, especially when you live in Iowa.

I threw around a few ideas of what I wanted. I knew I wanted it on my hip. I had finally accepted the idea that I had a vagina and hey, its kinda nice. Other people seem to like it, why didn't I? And naturally my newly found female identity had to play a role. So the usual clichéd ideas came to mind; hearts, a diamond, a flower, etc. But I am not a cliché person, at least I try not to be. The flower thing really stuck with me though. No daisies, no roses, no fucking lilies.

I decided on the flowers of a few plants. I'm very proud of my cultural roots, my family immigrated from Norway in 1901. I'm also an avid baker. So I wanted a flower important to both. I settled on the multi-headed flowers of the anise, fennel, and dill plants. I'm notoriously inept at drawing. So when it comes to mods I always rely on books. The library served my purposes well and I took a stack of literature to my consultation with Wayde. I let him come up with the design. My only limit was price. And even that turned out to be highly negotiable. I left the books with Wayde and came back after he sent me his initial drawing via IAM.

The shape and design of the flower fit perfectly with my body. I really didn't know what to expect the whole process to feel like. No matter how many experience you read its all personal. I have a fairly high pain tolerance though so I was actually looking forward to it.

Now to the nitty gritty and why you're reading this, I'm assuming. The whole process was done at 5 Point Body in Johnston. I've known Leo for years and have complete confidence in his sanitary standards. We were set up in the back with a nice little screen. It did work to calm me down. This was as close to naked I'd been around someone I wasn't intimate with. Considering my former thoughts on nudity, sexuality, etc. this was a big forking deal. Wayde went over the entire tracing lightly with the scalpel to open it up. It was like a series of paper cuts. Very tolerable. I was able to watch and take in the process with a minimum of wincing.

After the entire design was outlined Wayde put on some type of numbing cream. I can't remember what it was now, but it had the dual role of numbing and also closing off blood vessels so when he went over the design with his wonderful finesse work it wouldn't be gushing blood. This was the part I really enjoyed. I couldn't feel a thing so I was able to fully take in the act of Wayde flaying my skin open and creating this beautiful design out of my own flesh. There was something different about this from tattoos. I love my tattoos and personally like the finished outcome slightly more, but the process of scarring is so unique.

The whole event maybe took an hour or two. It's hard to gauge time with that much adrenaline coursing through you. The tail end was a bit uncomfortable as the numbing agent wore off. But it was a small price to pay. I've endured more pain than the insistent scratching feeling of the scalpel. Throughout the entire thing the cast of characters working at the shop all stopped by to take a looksy. It was a validation that what I was doing was at the right time because it didn't bother me a bit. Soon enough I was patched up with two strips of gauze and some strategically placed tape.

I headed to my best friend's apartment where I couldn't contain my excitement. It was something naughty, beautiful, sensual, personal, and so many other ideas. I was thrilled with myself for doing the entire thing alone. I like getting modifications by myself. After all the reason I get them is to feel more like myself. I'm completing myself as I see fit. Just finishing up where nature left off when I was born. If other people want to observe great, but in the end I want to experience it. I don't usually want someone there to distract me from the process. Maybe on hour four of a tattoo session, but this one was different. This was blessing a part of myself I'd just recently found.

I will say this, the shower the next day was one of the worst pains I've ever felt. Ever. Warm water coursing in little rivulets through the white tissue exposed to the knife. That is pain my friend. But only momentary. The good stuff is never free. I also happened to be going on a three hour road trip a few days after it was done. Also not a great idea. But that's all in the past. And presently I'm left with a permanent reminder to love myself no matter what. The simple act of a hand passing over the delicately raised ridges of scar tissue is enough to remind me to love the person I've made myself. It may not be as visible as my tattoos or piercings, in fact only a handful of people have seen it and truly understand what it is.  But that just makes me love it all the more. This is my self, expressed in one image, one experience.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 Oct. 2008
in Scarification

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Artist: Wayde+Dunn
Studio: 5+Point+Body
Location: Johnston%2C+IA

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