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The Time Has Come

They say the third time is a charm and I guess these mysterious "they" might be right now and then. My first time totally misfired and I still remember anger and depression I felt after having seen how my dreams were torn apart. I do admit I got too excited about it and shared my joy with a few people, so when things took the wrong turn I thought that maybe something was wrong because of me! You know, something about me causing things changing into disasters. When the second chance appeared in the horizon I did not tell anyone. There was some magical thinking involved here – if I do not tell anyone, things will not get ruined for me. Wrong! The second time did not happen, either. No matter what I tried to do, things looked morose and despondent for me!

Over the course of time, with my skin slowly getting this light green taint of jealousy, I decided to visit Sweden again. I signed up for the event "Who needs Toronto anyway?", organized by bena, although at first I was not even sure if I would really be able to go. In my case, however, the saying "no sooner said than done" is very true, so suddenly I had my ferry tickets and was dead set on going not only to the event but also seeing some more of Sweden.

A day or two before I left for my Swedish trip, bena sent me a message containing plans for the event. Among other things, he stated that there was some chance for doing pulls. That sounded nice but just look at the first paragraph of this text to see that such things were obviously NOT meant to happen to me. Piercings and dermal punching experiences? Why not; you can have it! Tattoos? Go ahead and get something done! Hooks? No way; it is just not meant to happen.

I learnt my lesson the hard way and really was convinced that obviously my Wyrd (Fate) did not want me to experience anything that involved hooks, so I did not even get excited. Bena's message made it clear that there was a chance for hooks but it was not a sure thing to happen. So I figured that it probably would not happen and just wrote him back that I was definitely interested in doing a pull and left it at that. No excitement, no thrills, no hope! I have read Beowulf way too many times to argue the simple fact that Fate goes ever as it must and even though I can fight against it, there is no way I can overcome it! Fatalism at its best!

My trip to Sweden was great right from the beginning and I enjoyed every second of it. I will not write here about a Swedish version of BME Fest as I am definitely going to torment you with this subject in another experience but let me just say that it was a nice part of my enjoyable Swedish adventures.

Swedish BME Fest was supposed to consist of some mini-golf playing, a nice picnic in a shaded place and then, hopefully, some pulls. I kind of knew by then that it might happen as hooks were placed nicely in bena's bathroom the day before the event. Still no excitement on my part, though. I consider myself a Wyrd worker – I do face it and fight to get things I want to get but I also know how to accept my Wyrd's decisions! You should know that now Europe is in the middle of disastrously hot weather. 30C all the time is horrible, at least for me. I was not born to live in the sunlight and hot climate, so I am not good at dealing with present weather conditions in my part of the world. Before leaving for Sweden I expressed the hope for the cloudy Swedish sky and chilly air I knew so well from the previous year. Not the case this time around. The sky was bright blue or even white, the sun was at its best scourging the Earth and me and things overall looked awful!

Fortunately the pulls were planned to take place late in the afternoon; we also waited for a guy named Paul who finished his work late, so the weather got better (like "better for me!") While waiting for Paul, we enjoyed the picnic and food. I was not hungry (heat!) but, considering I did not eat too much in the last 40 hours or so and I was probably about doing this not-meant-to-me pull, I decided to eat something. Now, I do not really believe in this sugar level thing. I always get my mods done on empty stomach and do not feel even a mild discomfort but it is also true that I seem to have some problems with my eating habits (either nothing or huge quantities of the stuff), so this time I just decided to be sensible and grab something.

Soon Paul appeared across the park and joined us. There seemed to be something very positive about him and I definitely liked his symmetrical wrist tattoos – they looked nicely Norse to me and you do not really have to be a very observant person to notice that if someone has three lettering tattoos of Norse poetry (in three different Germanic languages), then this someone is definitely obsessed with Germanic culture. It was good to sit in the park, under the shade of some trees, listen to Swedish (Germanic language! Nice thing!!!) and just enjoy the absence of the sun. Still no real excitement, though.

So when did I really feel it? Was it when I saw bena and Paul preparing the place for throwing hooks and making sure it was as sterile as possible? Or maybe was it when bena asked me: "Ania, do you wanna go first?" I was too stunned to think, so I just said "Yeah" and went over to the station, sat cross-legged there and pointed at my elbows as the placement for my hooks (I knew that there were some busy days on the road for me ahead, so decided to save my back for my backpack!).

You can read about things going on at such a moment. Gloves, sterile tools, markers and so on but I guess you really need to see it to feel what it means and what it is like.

Bena and Paul were busy with making everything work properly. Paul was the one who marked my elbows (making sure to protect this fragment of my tattoo that is right there even though I told them to not care about it at all! Yep, that was excited me!) and threw the hooks. I followed his "inhale ... and ... exhale" commands and suddenly I really was there and then with one hook in each elbow. Inserting the hooks did not hurt at all; it was just a strange feeling to be there and watch things happening so fast. Paul was quick, efficient, skillfull, exact. After a few seconds I was done and could get back to my place, now watching the guy, Sebastian his name it was, methinks, who was supposed to be my pull partner being pierced. He chose his back as the placement.

When he was done, bena attached the rope to our hooks. I do admit that I expected some guidance from bena. I was like "okay, so I have these hooks in my body and what the hell is supposed to happen now???" I was a total newbie and was quite stunned with everything. As it turned out, it was also Sebastian's first time, so both of us probably could not impress anyone with our great pulling performance. Bena did not suggest anything; he was just standing next to us, giving us time to adjust and find our own way to do things.

I am writing this down straight from the road; still dizzy with experiences I had and pictures of things I have seen in my mind but I do not think that I will ever be able to retrieve from my memory a really sharp picture of things that happened during my first pull. It was just such a great and wonderful experience.

A day earlier, when I talked to both bena and Evelina, I said that the mere presence of people during my suspension seemed terrible. I said I was way too self-conscious to let others watch me and the way my body works. But even though somewhere in the distant corner of my mind I knew that there were people present during this first pull, suddenly I realized that I did not care about them at all. My shyness and hesitation about things that I should do were caused more by the way I wanted others to perceive me than what I really felt like doing. It did not matter anymore. People were still there, somewhere, but I did not pay too much of my attention to them.

Both Sebastian and I started pulling and even if it was so tentative at first, we seemed to gain more and more confidence with every second that passed. I approached it like fun and kind of game between us; something like who was gonna be stronger. I set in my mind the point I would like to get to and pulled as hard as I could. There were some sharp movements, stops, loosing the ropes and then pulling again. Sometimes it was Sebastian that led me the way he wanted to follow and sometimes it was me trying my best to get to the point I set for myself. It was weird and fascinating to watch how my skin stretched and that it was not really painful. It was just a nice pressure on the skin. The real pain was caused by the constant bending my elbows and soon I felt how sore the inner side of my elbows got.

I consider it as a very smart move on bena's part that he did not do anything to show us what to do right at the beginning. Even if it seemed quite surprising at first and I really expected some props to show me the way, then I saw it differently. I do think he wanted us to find our own way to do the pull, on our own. Only then, after some warming up, he decided to get involved and show us how fun it could actually be. He started to swing the rope and then spin us around. It definitely was cool as it let us feel how differently the rope could be stretched and kind of tensed. Spinning us around was even nicely exhilarating but, unfortunately, my flip-flops got in the way. The grass was slippery, I did not master the art of wearing flip-flops yet (I am usually the army boots kind of person!) and suddenly I yelled "slow down" and fell down.

It lasted only seconds but I am sure that both to me and bena these few seconds lasted at least one century. I suddenly got a headache, a really dull and unpleasant one; everything was spinning around me; I did not feel I could safely raise my head and I felt I was on the verge of tears. Such a wonderful experience and so much fun and now this! Just my luck, eh? I felt bena asking if I was all right but I needed a while to answer. Above all, however, I needed some time to make the tears subside and disappear. The world stood still again and I could stand up and try to get back to the experience.

Pulling got calmer now. We were in the afternoon sun and everything around was nicely cool and green. Sebastian knelt down while I sat down, cross-legged, on the grass. I leaned back and laid down on the grass. It was a magical moment – feeling the earth under me, sun rays dancing on my eyelids and being almost lifted up by Sebastian's strength. I could lay down like this for hours on end – just being there, feeling the earth and air at the same time; being somewhere in-between the elements of Nature. We leaned forward and then back – both him and me; just testing our bodies' limits and enjoying the experience.

It could not, of course, last forever, so soon we began playing with the rope again. One of the people, Paul maybe?, got the idea to make a sort of sledge, so Sebastian could really pull me on the grass. Paul brought us a trash bag to see if getting it slide on the grass was actually possible. I joked that now I understood what people meant by "white trash" and we both tried to make the idea work. Un/fortunately it did not, so we left it at it.

I do not know how long this pull lasted. I did not ask bena about it right then; I did not asked him this question later and certainly I am not going to ask him about it now or in the future. It does not matter if the pull that seemed to last quite long was a matter of minutes or more like quarters or maybe even an hour. It is not a contest to get a prize for being the toughest one. Things started getting to an end when bena took a closer look at my elbows and saw that my left one is almost ripped. I dismissed his concern and admitted that in fact it was my goal, right from the beginning, to get the hooks ripped out of the skin. Weird as this idea might seem, I just wanted to make sure that I would get nice scars afterwards and my problem is that I do love scars of all kinds but do not scar easily. Bena was not that taken aback as I thought and just said that I should have told them that right at the beginning and then they would have pierced me differently. He advised, though, to stop the pull to prevent the skin from worse ripping. I figured out that he was the one who knew way more about it than I, so decided to follow his suggestion.

The last thing was attaching a short rope to Sebastian's back and my elbows, making Sebastian lay down flat on his stomach and then, while bena held his legs, lifting him up in a mocking suspension. I laughed out loud and said that that was what we called Girl Power. It must have been pretty funny for Sebastian and it certainly was interesting for me but my back started to hurt pretty bad and we stopped it soon.

Paul attended my elbows, removing hooks and massaging the skin while bena took care of Sebastian's back. Again, I am a very textual person – I read a lot and have a whole hard disc of my memory stuffed with theory but all this theoretical knowledge is just a piece of worthless crap when you compare it to some hands-on things. Reading about air bubbles and seeing and hearing them in real life are two totally different things. I really did see through the skin of my elbows that were stretched so much by the hooks and then I really did see and hear air bubbles massaged out by Paul's gloved hands. Again, there was no pain whatsoever and if even there was any, it was more a pain in my tensed muscles. Soon it was done – the wounds were cleaned and dressed up to protect them from the dirt. I asked bena for the hooks and was happy to be able to keep them as a souvenir.

I felt so elated and happy. I finally did it and I could not believe in this fact. Here I was, with blood seeping slowly through my freshly done "wounds", with wonderful green settings around, in Scandinavia to top it all and it felt so great. I just could not let the thing slip out just like that and later wonder about all that could have been. I never know when or where to stop and this time was the same. The pull I just finished was very intense and I still felt my arms trembling but I asked bena if I could have another go.

I do not know if he really was surprised or not at all. To be honest, I did not care at all. I just knew that if not now, then maybe even never again and definitely did not want to waste this opportunity! Just a few minutes after performing my first pull ever I was ready to do another one! Sort of "nothing can stop me now cuz I don't care anymore!" which is my personal credo to some degree anyway.

I was sensible enough to remember that I should not get the hooks in my back, so chose my chest instead. I pulled down the straps of my tank top (as I thought that they could get in the way) and was ready to be "hooked" again. This time the master of ceremony for me was bena. Getting hooks in place was more painful this time but I do not think it was bena's fault; it was the placement thing – the skin on chest is thinner and softer than the skin on elbows, so it is understandable that the pain is sharper and higher.

My partner in crime this time was a girl named Ana. We both had hooks in our chests and soon were ready to begin the play. We tested the strength of the rope and hooks, felt our skin getting stretched; leaned forward and back, while sitting and standing and I liked the feeling of it. In the fervor of my excitement I did not even notice that my tank top slid down uncovering my breasts. I do not consider myself a very modest person but certainly did not think it proper to show my chest in its full cough glory to people whom I met only a few hours earlier. I fixed the tank top and also noticed that the straps of the top would not go in the way of the hooks, so I could put them back on which I did.

This pull was less intense than my elbow one and soon was finished as Ana did not really want it to last for too long. She called it a day and bena, seeing that I was still quite hyper, said that I did not have to finish it now and we could attach the rope to a tree. Even though the idea was a very tempting one, I decided to call it a day as well, having in mind that I was right after a long trip from Poland to Sweden, with almost no sleep under my belt and with not that much food consumed.

There was not much air in my chest holes which seems understandable – the pull was shorter, less intense, more balanced. As I see it now, it was a good, kind of peaceful way to end this first pull experience of mine. Bena made sure to remove the air from the wounds as best as he could, dressed them up and soon both he and Paul were busy with cleaning the piercing station and making sure that all sharp, contaminated tools are safely removed. Sadly bena managed to get rid of my hooks before I had the time to ask for this pair as well, so I did not get to receive them.

In the evening, while sitting at bena's apartment, we looked through the pictures taken this afternoon and even I, although I am usually extremely self-critical and hate seeing myself in the pictures, had to admit that they looked very nicely! I felt really really good, almost happy and loved the soreness of my body and still lingering feelings of excitement and bliss.

I went to bed around 2am and fell asleep with no problem. An hour later I was wide awaken by the awful, blunt pain in the inner side of my left elbow. My arm felt numb and for a moment I thought that I just got paralyzed and things would never get to normal. I usually sleep on my arms or with strangely twisted wrists, so I wake up with numb arms quite often but this time this blunt pain in my arms really bothered me. I groaned and tried to calm down. The pain slowly subsided and I could keep myself on the verge of sleep. When I woke up in the morning I felt very stiff and sore but definitely could move both my arms and the prospect of paralyze did not seem close or real.

The holes still seeped some blood, so bena made sure that I had some dressings to keep them covered during my bus trip to Stockholm ad gave me some spare ones for later. They stopped leaking blood and lymph on the second day, so I did not cover them with dressings anymore. Sure they bothered me a little while sleeping but, to tell the truth, I loved this pain as it reminded me of this great feeling I had deep inside of me during the pulls. Now it's over a week now and the holes are still pretty rough. It looks like I will have my scars after all and definitely something remember and treasure in time to come!

It is really hard to express how grateful both to bena and Paul I am for making this experience happen to me. I got used to believe that such experiences could happen only to others and that I was forever condemned to only reading about them. I could get angry at the way things kept turning out for me but now, when I am able to look at everything from some perspective, I can only say that this experience could not have been better. It was intense and unexpected, so I could appreciate the way my Wyrd turned things for me; it happened outdoors, among trees and this is a very important aspect of things to me; it happened in Scandinavia which, for me, holds a lot of meaning.

I have been waiting for it for almost a year and it cost me a lot to face adversities. My time has finally come and I loved every second of it.

My time has come; my time has passed; I believe now that my time will come again, sooner or later

  • all images in this experience were taken by bena and used here with his permission!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 July 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Bena+and+Paul
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Location: Malmo%2C+Sweden

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