prying open my third eye
It's hard to begin to describe something like this.
I run my fingers over the tiny circular scars that span two rows of four across my back.
My heart feels almost as thought it would expand, open like a womb and consume me... Taking me back to the beginning...
It feels like it did the day I suspended.
I can remember months ago, hearing for the first time, that iwascured had started a chapter in Windsor Ontario, my hometown. My piercer and friend, Ali at Steel Sanctuary in Windsor, had posted some pics on her IAM page and a brief description of her first suspension. I was so exited for her just seeing the pics. Later, when I finally got to talk to her about it, she recommended it to me. This was kind of a shock. I couldn't imagine myself having the strength, either mentally or physically, nor the pain tolerance to go through with it.
I asked her a bunch of silly questions. I dwelled and pondered for a couple months.
I tried to start preparing myself, mentally, spiritually and physically through various reading, meditation and play piercing. Reading a bunch of the experiences on BME and checking out as many pictures as I could always got me excited. The adrenaline would start flowing just from seeing and reading about other peoples experiences. How would I handle my own- if I even ended up doing it?
During this preparation process I would occasionally talk to a few of my friends that might understand and maybe offer advice. I think the best piece of advice I got was from my friend, Kerry. The date of the suspension was quickly approaching .I was starting to doubt myself. Starting to feel like I wouldn't be ready and maybe it would be a better idea to wait until the next one. Kerry said, 'How are you going to know when you're ready though? What if you end up just preparing for the rest of your life because you don't know what ready is?'
Thank you, Kerry. I was waiting for something that might never have come. And even if it did I wouldn't have know it...
Jump ahead a few weeks. I'm in Windsor again. I'm nervous as hell. It's time to test myself. It's time to find out if I really am ready...
Lindsay drove me down from London and is with me for spiritual support as well as to do some photos. And even though each person suspending was only supposed to bring one guest, as it was a private suspension, I was able to sneak my little sister, Courtney, in too (thanx Orbax!). I can't think of anyone I'd have rather had there. Although we've been through some rough times, Lindsay and I have always had a connection. She's taught me more about myself, especially spiritually, and really opened me up in such a short amount of time than anyone ever has (not to mention she's a kickass photographer!). My sister and I are also very close. She's always been there for me when I needed someone and I have no doubt that she always will be. I only hope I can provide half as much for her as she does for me.
Anyways, I'm digressing; after everyone was accounted for, the rigging set up, and an order decided, the ritual began.
The first two people are hooked. My heart hammered. My skin moistened. My head reeled. My turn came.
Most of this part was a blur. I think at this point I was simply too drunk on my own endorphins to remember anything but feeling. Even immediately after the whole thing was over I had a hard time recalling this clearly, but I'll try. I had watched the two before me closely so I knew what to expect, but I doubt it's the same for everyone. They happened to be veterans at this as well. But I took my place just the same, delirious already with the experience, but calm. With Ali on one side of me and Marty on the other for a tandem piercing, I braced my self for the pain and entrusted my skin to their skill.
The pain was minimal and both Ali and Marty did a GREAT job- both with the piercings and with coaching me through. Orbax also helped out a lot here too, finding the right spots on my back for the hooks and making sure everything lined up. Everyone made me feel quite at ease with the whole procedure.
With my drug of choice, adrenaline, coursing through my veins, I stood. Everyone around made sure I was ok. Then I went to the mirror to look for myself. They were beautiful. I didn't want to have to take them out afterwards.
I waited for Jason (super nice guy from Ohio) to finish his suspension and got rigged up for my own. I was getting a little bit nervous again, but I think a lot of it was more anxiousness. I was actually about to go through with what a year ago, I'd have never even contemplated.
Ali finished up the next set of hooks and came over to talk me through going up. This was the only part that really hurt: putting the tension on. But with Ali to coach me, everything went quite smoothly, even with the pain.
To the aggressive sound of Tool's 'Aenema', I began pulling. Powerful music helps me deal well with pain. I began walking forward to put tension on, and backwards to release it. Soon I found I could go forward and take my feet off the ground for a split second. The pain was incredible and wonderful and absolutely necessary. I could hear the song break and knew it was about to get heavy. I braced my self, took a few steps forward and yelled "pull" just as the chorus broke, passionate and primal and engulfing me entirely.
I could hear applause as I was lifted from the ground. For the first minute or so my body was in shock and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to take it. But this was not something I was going to give up easily and I decided to try to wait it out. After that minute or so was over, the uneasiness passed and a sense of utter elation overcame me. It was that state one tries to reach through meditation (well at least I do). My mind went completely clear and when I closed my eyes, everything around me stopped existing. I was entirely on my own plane. I could never do it justice with mere words. It was the most exquisite event of my life.
Tool played on. I thought it appropriate to hang to "third eye".
I zoned in and out of this plane and my own, occasionally grounding myself mentally, so as not to completely lose myself- don't forget, this was only my first time.
At one point I nearly attempted to pull my sister up with me, but decided, being my first time, just by myself was enough. Maybe next time kid.
The song played on. I relaxed and enjoyed. As the end approached I fell completely into it, 'prying open my third eye'...
When the song was over I came down. I could have stayed up all day, but I knew others were waiting patiently for their turn and I couldn't, in good conscience, deny someone this...
The hooks were removed, to small sorrow on my part, and the air bubbles pushed out (well, some of 'em). I bled like a stuck pig when Anita, Ali's apprentice did that.
After the necessary was done, I let myself come down.
My god! The feelings that overcame me were nearly unbearable. I'm generally a detached and logical person. Strong emotions are rare. These were nearly too much. In a sudden rush I wanted to laugh maniacally, scream at the top of my lungs, bawl like a child. I wanted to fly- 'cause I knew I could. I wanted to fuck, wanted to sing my heart out, wanted to lay down right there and fall into the deepest, most satisfying sleep- all at the same time... And the energy! Wow! I'm a real skeptic when it comes to metaphysical, but this was something I could feel! It was like a dream. Everyone was giving off great energy! It was the most passionate thing I've ever known.
Afterwards most of the crew went for dinner. I said my thank you's and goodbye's and Courtney and I went to Steel Sanctuary to see Ali, who had to take off shortly after I came down, to see a client.
I must have been glowing when she said she was proud of me. I gave her a big hug and thanked her for all her help.
I want to thank everyone again who was present, especially the awesome members of iwascured for making such a significant and meaningful experience so perfect. As well as Lindsay and Courtney for their essential support.
It is, to date, nearly a year from the time when I first suspended. Since then I have joined the iwascured suspension group. I've seen many people go through their first suspensions and feel an acute sense of pride and bond every time. I work with an amazing group of people and have acquired some great friends in the process. I've learned a lot from my cured family, but I know I still have more to learn. So I'll keep on learning because I love what I do.
As I said, it is very hard to put into words an experience like this. It took me over a half a year to actually sit down and even attempt the first draft of this piece, and still I don't think it could ever truly convey the strong feelings and energy of what happened to me that day. I will probably always feel I have more to add. It is truly a unique awakening, and needs to be experienced first hand to correctly understand it. But once you have, you'll never be quite the same.
I will give this piece of advice to anyone considering doing a suspension. Go into it with a very open mind and no expectations. No one can know what another person's suspension experience will be like. It is exclusively personal and if you go into it thinking it'll be like any of the experiences you've read here, you'll be disappointed. Go into it as a blank canvas and let the experience create you. A wise man who deserves my respect and admiration once said this to me about suspensions: "You usually don't get what you want from a suspension, but you get what you need". That holds very true, Phil. For a brief, but satiating moment, my eye was open.
submitted by: tribecanada
on: 22 Oct. 2002