Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Adventure with Scarification – not a good one

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My Adventure with Scarification – not a good one
I was about 4 years old when I entered the world of “Scarification”.  I was scared for life and never really recovered I guess.  I can remember the exact moment and the position I was in as well as the time of day when it happened… then everything went blank.  I suppose it must have been the shock of what happened to me that blocked out the many weeks that followed of recovery.
That was 65 years ago and the memories are still the same… the quiet moment… sitting on my mother’s lap munching on a piece of toast and watching my dad get ready to go to the garage that he worked in each day.  Dad brought the coffee pot over to the table to fill his cup… then my mom held her cup out to him needing more coffee in her cup as well.  I remember him tipping the coffee pot carefully towards her cup which was in her right hand.  The I saw the green glass cup crack around the bottom and then fall towards me… along with the steaming coffee… all landing on my bare right thigh. At that point the memory is gone completely.
I can only imagine what happened next… the screaming from the little 4 year old… the horror on the faces of his mom and dad… then the not knowing what to do as the skin peeled off with the touch of a wet cloth.  The screaming continued – long and loud… in my imagination.
We lived in Milestone, Saskatchewan at the north end of town.  The nearest Doctor was in Weyburn, Saskatchewan about 4 towns further south east along the train tracks.  I think there was a hospital there as well as one in Regina – about 45 minutes by car… and longer if you had to wait for the train.
There was no Medicare in those days.  Doctors cost money… and so did hospitals.  And a poor family living with next to no wages in a very small town had to just deal with it.
The stories are sketchy at best.  I think that there was a period of time that they thought I could have lost my right leg… but that didn’t happen.  And when I think about the possibility that my face, my chest, my lower abdomen could have all been burnt I shuddered at times… and am thankful for the scar as it is… a perfectly round shape about the size of a coffee cup… with a small piece that wanders off to the side.
When I was little, going swimming with the other kids was hard because with little legs the scar was huge.
Going swimming anytime in the sunshine is something I pay for days afterwards as the scar burns in the sunshine very easily and does that every hurt… way more than the surrounding sunburn!! Way more.
Whoa!  I shouldn’t reveal all my secrets specially when everyone thought I was almost perfect ;-)
Why mention a personal scar today.
Well I am so up to date with the world around me… in fact I am 65 years ahead of the world of nut cases who get scars on purpose.
That’s my topic to “beller about” today – “Scarification” the next step after or further than Tattooing all over.
Imagine – people actually cut themselves or pay someone to cut them in patterns to make scar patterns and pictures on their bodies.
Having had it done, as an accident, and then having lived with it for 65 years I cannot fathom the reasoning to have it done on purpose.
I have seen some of my African friends that have had it done to them as children as a kind of life passage.  But to do this because we think it is “beautiful” is beyond reasoning of the normal life!
But here it is a brand new way to make yourself beautiful… to get attention… to place yourself just over the edge of sanity but not so far that you are dead.
There are other strange things that people do to themselves… like strangulation to the point of passing out – for a high. One of my friends was into that without anyone in his family or friends knowing about it.  They found him dead – after he went just a little too long into his high. Needless to say the family will never recover from that shock.
What happens when the scarification dude or dudette arrives home with this massive new pattern on their body?  What does the family think?
Their friends likely all love it… because they do it as well.
My scar is not something I show. But they do theirs to make sure it can show.
Take a look here for some examples of what and how far scarificationists will go to let the world know that they are not happy with the way that they were born…
Example photos of Scarification or just type in “Images for Scarification” into a Google search.
I feel very sorry for my mom… even this morning at 92 years old with a 65 year old memory that continues… and the very poor quality of glass that the coffee cup was made of… and how bad she felt for her little boy.  When we talked about it her voice trailed off in bad memories.
Yep – I am so up to date and so far ahead of the world out there… no one can catch me now.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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