I don't even know how to begin this entry. As of writing this, I have not received Darby's permission yet to put online his personal written account of his experience that I was priviledged enough to share. If I do receive permission, there will be a link at the bottom of the page. If I do not, I respect Darby's decision and I hope that what I will write will do justice to the powerful, moving, spiritual experience that I was able to watch tonight. My words are inadequate, Constant Reader.
Early this week, Christine and I started discussing getting together to eat dinner and exchanging Christmas gifts (I got her a small portable booklet with a small quote that one is to meditate and consider. It can be placed on one's altar or carried around. This is what I got for her on Saturday when Mike and I did the city shopping for Christmas gifts. I also got her a small gift basket of lotion and shower gel and soap from Bath and Body Works). Well, we both received an invitation from Keith, our piercer and friend. inviting us to "join in watching video footage from The OKC TSD show and Darby's private suspension". Christine and I eagerly changed our plans quickly (meet in Queens, ride to Brooklyn, eat Middle Eastern food, then jaunt over to Modern American to meet the gang) to join in the festivities).
I know that many of you do not know what a suspension is. Suspension is part of ritual body play where the piercings are more for the pleasure of piercing and/or for the spirituality of piercing. They are not really permanent (except for the scars, which may fade in time). You can read more about ritual body play at BME, the Body Modification Ezine, under the "ritual" section. I have been to that portion of BME's website, so I've seen photographs of various suspensions, where the body is "suspended" via piercings. However, nothing that I have seen would prepare me for what I would be watching tonight.
Shortly after Keith sent us the invitation, Darby sent all of us his written account of the experience. It was moving to read. The soul-searching that Darby talks about connects with me because that is what I'm looking for as well. He had to prepare himself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually up to the suspension and finds himself re-examining and meditating about the experience (and the time leading up to it) afterwards. The experience for him was very intense spiritually and mentally, life changing. There is a point in his account where he talks about leaving this world and entering another where he meets others and converses with them. He found entering this "spirit" world gentle and natural while "re-entry" into this world was unnatural and violent. This is the point in the account that I am most interested in. He talks about being in this other world for a long time, meeting good people and talking to them. I found myself rereading this point in his account over and over again. It was an experience that I wanted to have. I think there is a part of me that is a born explorer. Everytime I hear about the exploration of space or the deep sea, I am intrigued. I want to be there on the threshold of human experience. I'm not sure if I would step out into the unknown (there is a part of me that is afraid of becoming lost and never returning. Perhaps that is why I don't do drugs. The fear of not being able to come back.), but I certainly want to be there for those that do. Perhaps hold on to their lifeline, clutch it close to me so that I can pull them back and share their experiences with me. It's a vicarious way of living and experiencing, but it suits me.
I knew that I would be meeting Darby and there is quite a bit of excitement in meeting him. I've heard all about him, from both Dori and Rebekah. He seems to be The Man(tm). All these women seem to want him! When I finally met him, it hit me exactly what women would go nuts over:
He's exactly like Ben Feen. Ben Feen is a friend of mine from college that lived in the same dorm I did. He was a gentle and kind soul, funny, deliciously intelligent and had flocks of women (it seemed). I thought he was a great guy and I flirted with him heavily (and vice versa), but I didn't really understand exactly what it was about him that women found attractive. Darby is the same way. He strikes me as a sweet, endearing person. Intelligent. Multitalented. A very beautiful person. And also a person that I don't understand what makes him attractive. I mean, ok... all the things that I've listed makes him an attractive person.. I can't deny that. But my feelings for Benjy were very platonic. The longing for a deep and wonderful friendship with a beautiful person, but not for a relationship. I get the same sense from Darby. Here's a guy that I'd like to get to know and have a great friendship with him, but not a relationship. I've been pondering for the past 5 years exactly what is it that other women swoon over regarding Mr. Feen (and what causes me to only have platonic feelings for such a marvellous creature), and I haven't come up with an answer yet. Whenever I get the answer for that, perhaps I will grasp Darby too. <grin>
I got to meet Essie too. Now there is a beautiful creature. She has a lovely dark hair and the loveliest smile I've ever seen in a long time. She struck me as the kind of woman I could definitely snuggle with. <grin> She's very funny, too. I've heard a lot of positive things about her and it's nice to finally meet her. She came with a guy named Mark who was from Germany (a very good-looking guy too!), I think. I also got to meet Keith's new apprentice, George. He seems to be a very nice guy. I shook hands with Desiree, but I didn't talk much to her so I really can't say much about her.
Keith's pad was very cool. He has a wonderful collection of books that expressed a diverse taste in subject matter. All around the place were beautiful masks. He has really good tastes! His place was very cosy and I felt very comfortable there. We chatted quite a bit (Keith and Christine made fun of my "pop") and then we got down to watching Darby's suspension.
Watching him getting pierced and suspended was very peaceful and meditative. It was amazing to see him flying, twisting in the air. It was amazing to see how strong and elastic skin is. How much it stretched. It was far more amazing than merely flipping through photographs in BME or at TSD's website. Watching Darby's suspension, I could almost feel the spiritual energy in the room. It was amazing. After watching it, I felt very priviledged to watch Darby's suspension. Thank you, Darby, for sharing your wonderful experience with me. You touched my heart and soul on many levels. Darby's suspension was the first one I've seen that was "non-still picture" and it was wonderful.
We then watched the Oklahoma City TSD (Traumatic Stress Discipline) show. Christine drove out there to see it! It was amazing. I got to see Essie's Kavadi. She bore a large cage through which she was pierced by several long spears. It was beautiful. It looked like those old photographs of people who came up with flying contraptions that they bore on their shoulders. There is also a beautiful symmetry to the frame and spears, so I thought it was gorgeous. The TSD show was themed "Life Cycle" where the show was divided into 7 different segments to illustrate the different stages of life from birth (a knee suspension), through childhood (ball dancing, Essie's kavadi), a teenage love affair, middle age (a mobile suspension which was amazing), old age and death (a tandem suspension). My eyes soaked it all up. I can't wait to see a performance. According to TSD's schedule, they will have a show in January and in April in NYC. Hopefully, I will get to experience it all live. <crosses fingers>
Wow, this entry is becoming very long and I'm not really satisfied with it. There is so many other things I want to describe and share with you, Constant Reader, but I find the words just not coming to me. I'm at a loss. Awe does that to me.
Note added December 25th, 1998
Darby's wonderful experience is available upon request. Email me.