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A First-Timer's Introspection on Suspension


The day started out with high spirits, and the drive to Chicago itself was both liberating and exhilarating, a result of too little sleep and too much caffeine. The mood turned a bit sour upon arriving in Chicago and subsequently spending ages stuck in traffic and getting quite lost.

Regardless of setbacks, we eventually made our way to the BBQ, where we were greeted by hordes of enthusiastic strangers. It was quickly declared "No Pants O'clock" as it was close to 100 degrees in the house. Good times. There was a cute boy. And fire-breathing. And camel toe. ^.^

When we originally got to Chicago, I had a tremendous case of nerves, complete with upset stomach. As my event approached, my nerves settled and emotions began to fall into place. By the time it was my turn to go up, I felt ready. I was unsure of the outcome, but awash in honest anticipation of the unfolding of events.

The scrubbed me down and Jason started to mark for placement, but decided it would be better to decorate the floor with gentian violet instead. A new toothpick was fetched and subsequently, the marks were made with much ado about how symmetrical my wings were. He pinched and pulled, trying to find the exact spot for maximum comfort. We agreed on a position, and I lay down for the piercing itself. Four eight gauge hooks, put in two at a time. One set of hooks - ouch. Not worth anything more than that, though. The second set - a little more ouch, but again, nothing unbearable. The first of the major hurdles was past.

We established that I would use the miracle of pulleys to hoist myself off the ground. I was strung up and handed my rope. I spent what seemed like forever just communing with the rope and the hooks in my back, trying to work them in comfortably. There was a lot of give and take, and I swayed back and forth, dancing with myself.

I got off the ground once, but wasn't ready to stay that way, so the dance began again.

When I finally got up the strength to part with the Earth, I entered my own world. Jason took the rope from me and I closed my eyes, savoring the sensation. I can't say it was comfortable, quite the opposite in fact. But it was liberating. I swung for a while before coming to a rest holding my feet. The experience started to reach unbearable intensity, so I swung around for a bit more, and reached for DJ's hand. The feeling of dizziness just wasn't going away, though.

I told Jason I was ready to come down. The second my feet hit the floor, I was filled with a complete sense of strength, and all negative feelings fled.

After I was cut loose, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I stood there crying. By myself. I lifted myself off the ground. I withdrew into myself. And then I cried by myself. It was truly profound.

I collected myself and laid down again. My hooks were removed and given to me. It felt as though I had given birth to some new entity.

Brandon, DJ, and I went on a walk to fully digest the emotional gravity of the night. Hugs, crying, "I love you." Jason told me to surround myself with positive people.

The night has ended, and now I shall sleep.


My life has been changed by this experience. I'd been trying to put my finger on exactly how, so I spent some time today writing:

I feel amazing, but I miss my people. The intimacy formed over this weekend has left me with a profound need to continue it. The touching and connecting. My heart is whole again, but it is walled off from most people. The general public does not care to understand the experience I just had. And I need to continue my sharing.

The whole experience has left me repaired. Being up there, I was able to completely transcend the troubles which have been plaguing me as of late. My strength and self confidence has been renewed. I feel emotionally healthy. And strong. It didn't really hit me until today. I feel like I really have confirmed that I am amazing, and I can do anything I set my mind to. I am amazing.

I want to share this experience with everyone. Having some into this realization has given me the need to interact with others on a very personal level. Like I feel that I have something to offer to others. I have confirmed that I am, in fact, a worth while person. I feel like I have something to offer. And not just this experience, but my whole life. I have been validated.

And I am so grateful.

My hooks have gone everywhere with me since I got them. They stay in my pocket all day, and I put them under my pillow when I sleep. For the time being, they're in an autoclave pouch, and kind of gross. When I feel ready, I'm going to clean them and present one to each of the three who were there to share the experience with me. The fourth I will keep for myself. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but whatever it is, I can guarantee that it will be with me nearly all of the time. It represents a part of me I never knew existed.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 Sept. 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: iHung
Studio: +
Location: Chicago%2C+IL

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