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An Artists Vision

I have been over the past three years adding to my scarification. It is not just scarification to me. It is the renewal of skin that has been torn, beat and cut brutally. Three years ago I decided that perhaps it was time to erase those memories and turn distorted lines into stories of new hope.

John has consistently working with me/on me. I never feel as though I am a piece of skin or a picture in a portfolio. In these times with John we share sacred time together. Foolish laughter, his concern over how I am feeling, his eyes constantly transfixed on each line. It has always been like this. It will always be like this.

I had recently had a 9x9 double dorje cutting on my right leg and also covering up some scars of old. We had discussed mirroring that cutting at some point for symetry. I checked me IM box on BME with a little note. Something to the effect of I have sketched out a new design for your left thigh please come down to the studio and have a look. He said it has lots of curvy lines just how you like.

I went down to the studio and laid befor me was this intricate weaving of curves, circles and beautiful fine lines. I was immediately taken in by the sketch. We went over the sketch changing very few details. After working with someone, someone like John, they seem to sense what you want. What would please you. The symbol he said although modified stood for enlightened motivation. He knows me all too well. I think of it as a gift. This one a little different since it was his own creation for me.

About a month went by and the time came. I still feel the curse of nudity not nakedness. The scars I wear that tell a story no one knows. But he never seems to look or care. I had told him once I would never get a cutting done by him as an act of mutilation, I know all too well the difference. Without pants and with increasing comfort of Johns soft voice I didn't feel like the hacked up girl. I felt we were about to go somewhere together.

He matched with stencils this cutting to where the other thigh cutting had been. Stencil applied, the usual red pillow grabbed from the waiting room and soft music put into the cd player. Before the scalpel hits there is an inner jump a readiness to turn the old into new. The scar he would be covering was a faded 17 year old suicidal tendancies scar. I got comfortable.

John reached down real low to my thigh and he asks, just as he does everytime are you ready. Yes, I sm. Scalpel starts that sacred sound of my skin coming apart the blood seeping through. A moment of clarity says this is change. John makes shallower cuts than usual since we would be using the blue gel for deeper cuts and flesh removal. Some people say the pain is part of the ritual. My answer to them is I have felt pain, I have had many cuttings done with nothing and most notably the greatest pain comes much after the cutting.

Time has no stop or start. There is great synergy in the room. Sometimes jokes, sometimes me laughing making him smile but most of all sometime silence. Nothing but sensation. And as I said before in that silence there is great clarity. New thoughts and new dreams.

John applied the blue gel and its strange to see your skin come up or be cut apart and have little or no feeling. Hours must have passed and I looked down at the finished product. Absolute beauty. For once I will never have to see the scrawling of a little girl who carved suicidal tendancies into her skin. We both couldn't stop looking it was a masterpiece. Just amazing. We talked, took pictures and he wrapped me up with the same old instructions. We were both exhausted. He cleaned up and I made my way home.

Aftercare: I experienced for the first time an allergic reaction to the vaseline, lemon juice and saran wrap aftercare. I developed deep pox like horrors all down my leg wherever the wrapping had been. It was decided that I would not be using the vaseline/wrap due to the severity of it. I kept it nicely scrubbed though.

A few months have passed the lines are filling in quite nice. The cutting looks absolutely amazing. It is indeed one of a kind and precious to me. A new beginning and the leaving behind of old scars.

I do not keloid like most people. I have thick raised red braille lines I suspect will flatten out a bit. I have no regrets. Nothing but love for the piece. Nothing but respect for John. I feel a closeness to him,an untainted friendship, that has grown through the years. To you I thank you for your kindness, care, bedside manner and sense of humor. There is no one I would rather be on this journey with. Each new cutting frees me of the binds of the old haphazard mutilations.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 June 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: John+Joyce
Studio: Scarab+Body+Arts
Location: Syracuse%2C+New+york

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