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The closest thing to a spiritual experience in my short agnostic/atheist life.

So to begin, I had long since been fantasizing about doing a suspension, feelings which were only compounded by doing a flesh pull with Tracie Hanna (by Jared Anderson/Mute One) a few months ago. Especially since then thinking about it became very frequent, and the day the question became "When?" I jumped at the opportunity. Of course the reply was "As soon as possible!" and so it was, less than a week later my chance had finally come.

Leading up to the event there was only mild concern in my heart, vastly overshadowed by excitement. Certainly the days prior were dominated with feelings of passionate desire while my time was spent focusing, meditating and centering my head in preparation. Heh, in fact, the day of the suspension when sitting around bringing my self to focus on what the experience might be like, I actually reached such a comfortable state that I fell asleep for an hour or so! So coming up to the time before the hooks were placed, I had managed to leave behind any concerns about the world and a clear memory of the flesh pull in mind.

Back to the physicality of it all, the hook piercing went incredibly smooth. Jared is an expert and I could barely feel it at all, which isn't to say that Tracie didn't do a fantastic job though. Her two were only noticeable in comparison to Jared's (mad props lady!) and what many people would've considered the mildest discomfort was over in seconds. Of course, by that is meant to be said: I like the feeling of metal going through my skin and this was no exception to that rule. So with the four hooks in my upper back in place, the ropes threaded, the rig hanging over the front of my neck like some kind of mod-bling and a cigarette later, we went outside.

The rig was setup already, a heavy duty strap spanning two trees, another rig section in the center. They took the part hanging from me and hooked it to the middle part, I was then attached with a swivel in the hub, lots of room to move, turn 360 and the rope in my hand. I suppose its worth mentioning that we weren't too far from the street, in view of the whole neighborhood, at some point there were even cars driving by dumbfounded.

For a minute, I played with the feeling of pulling and tugging on myself, walking back and forth, getting used to the skin stretching with increased tension, lifting my feet up at the end of a stride, raising up off of the ground only slightly at first. Then finally, hand over hand, lifting myself up off the ground.

Some people might say that part would hurt. I felt a rush, maybe adrenaline, but whatever the feeling was it was overshadowed by the feeling of the hooks, delicious little pain, that was incredible. I handed the rope over to either Tracie or Jared, honestly I can't remember, they lifted me up. Then it hit me, washed over me and I was some where else. It felt like some huge creature or higher being lifting me up, like I'd been knocked on the floor along time ago and someone finally picked my body up and placed it on the right shelf.

Looking at the photos, it was Jared that had pulled me up. So it was Tracie that began swinging me, after what seemed like hours of euphoria which were probably only a few moments, the activity brought an entirely different sensation. First, it carries me back to the hooks, then again floating away in my mind. I loved being swung, fuck; it was like being a baby rocking in a cradle, a cradle of metal and rope through my back, blissfully ignorant of the world outside living for and in the motion, the moment.

After a bit of that, someone informed me I had been almost static, to keep my arms and legs moving to keep blood flowing. I'm so thankful for Jared and Tracie being there watching out for the material aspect, for my safety and health, because I wasn't much physically aware. It's rather apparent in the photos though, at the beginning my arms were folded up in front of me, someone there described it as looking like a t-rex, with its little tiny arms.

Unsure of how long it had been, after the swinging, we tried having me hold up someone else. Tracie stood in front of me; we locked our arms, holding each others wrists while our arms were crossed. I locked my legs around her waist and she jumped up a little and rode like I was a swing. That was intense. I definitely was briefly drawn to the feeling of the hooks in my back but it was flushed away as were all the hints of pain. Which actually was sort of a let down/sort of a good thing, I like pain, but there was nothing wrong with it not being so apparent. Certainly holding someone else was the harshest part of hanging but it was short lived as I didn't feel that I could hold her up much longer, my legs and arms felt a little weak.

So after holding someone else, it was time to try spinning! Jared tied off the rope, letting me dangle. First, I was spun by hand (and can't remember if they both spun me!) which was a fun experience. I was told to play with extending my arms and legs to control how much momentum was going. If only I had some abs, it would've been great to tuck into the fetal position while whirling, a glorious womb of extreme feelings hovering above the earth. After hand rotating me, Jared wrapped me in a rope and really showed me what spinning while suspending was about. Holy fuck! My momentum changed so much that it was starting to move outward and no longer down, like gravity had just decided to give up on me. He said he could have gotten me parallel to the ground but after such a powerful few moments, and my head spinning well after stopping, I didn't stay up much longer.

Then after a break I went back up! This time, I merely tried swinging myself with my legs, which I was terrible at! My stomach muscles just didn't have the strength at this point, and we all had a little laugh at my flailing attempts. A little later, I was lowered so my feet could touch the ground slightly, enough for me to do a sort of run and push off. That was lots of fun but definitely brought me into the physical aspects again. If only I'd tried that earlier, there probably would have been a lot more height for my endeavors.

Then I came down again, this time for good but, my mind didn't come down for hours afterward. I'm not really sure how long I was up, It felt like an hour. We had a good laugh whenever someone tried to get my attention, I'm sure it was like talking to a brick wall. I was still suspended inside my brain, and the best part, I can still go back there. So while the rest of you sit in your chairs reading this, I'm flying. If only I didn't ever have to come back down.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Aug. 2008
in Ritual

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Artist: Jared+Anderson+%28Mute+One%29+and+Tracie+Hanna
Studio: +
Location: Columbus%2C+OH

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