Tag Archive for Relationships

Southwest Master and slave Title Year Wrapup

Southwest Master and slave 2013

As we wrap up our year as your Southwest Master and slave we would like to take a few minutes to give you an idea of what we did to represent you.

First, from a numbers perspective we attended more than 20 weekend long events.  After Southwest Leather Conference 2013 we went to B.O.H.I.C.A. Weekend (Austin, TX), Sin in the City (Las Vegas, NV), South Plains Leather Fest (Dallas, TX), Alamo City Leather Fetish Ball (San Antonio, TX), Beyond Leather (Fort Lauderdale, FL), International Ms Leather (San Francisco, CA), Northwest Leather Celebration (San Jose, CA), Northern Exposure 4 (Anchorage, AK), SouthEast Leather Fest (Atlanta, GA), TES Fest (Piscataway, NJ), Thunder in the Mountains (Denver, CO), KINK Weekend OKC (Oklahoma City, OK), Women In Leather Fest (Dallas, TX), Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend (Indianapolis, IN), International Leather SIR Leather boy (Dallas, TX), Austin girls of Leather (AgoL) Leather History Panel (Austin, TX), Leather Bash home of International Mr and Ms Transgender (Atlanta, GA), Beyond Vanilla (Dallas, TX), Behind Closed Doors (Tucson, AZ), Colorado MAsT (Denver, CO), Oklahoma MAsT (Oklahoma City, OK), and Mr Austin Leather contest (Austin, TX).

In addition, during the weekends we were home we participated in our local area events including teaching at Voyagers and The Underground, monthly AgoL meetings, Austin Pride Parade, and various cigar socials. We often made time with our leather family during week nights to ensure we kept up those ties, after all a year is too long to be away from those we hold so dear. On a wider scale, we each continued to contribute to Leatherati.com and slave was elected Vice President for Women in Leather International.

In all, we spent 70 nights away from our warm bed in 10 different states. We taught 40+ hours of workshops to approximately 480 kinky people. We sat for countless hours offering one on one mentorship and encouragement to individuals and couples never turning down a request for our time. Every conference we attended got our full dedication and attention, we worked hard to remain available and approachable staying in the lobbies, classrooms, and social events until we finally happily fell into our hotel beds.

Personally, we experienced joy and growth throughout. We had some challenges and overcame them together. We shared moments of adventure and beauty that were magnificent.

We slept when we could…for Master that included late at night in an IHOP and on nearly every plane we were on.

We drank way too much port in Las Vegas, they were serving it in red solo cups and slave forgot it wasn’t wine.

A delightful taxi driver took us down the famous crooked street in San Francisco on the way to the brunch that was so good slave wept with joy.

In San Jose we happened upon an amazing gift shop attached to the Catholic Church and Master indulged his passion for all things Virgin of Guadalupe.We played Cards Against Humanities with our leather family and friends in the atrium of a hotel in Fort Lauderdale till we were all too exhausted to play.

In Alaska after winning the People’s Choice Award for 2012, slave delivered the keynote address for NE4. We drank glacier melt out of the side of a mountain outside Anchorage on the breath taking Turn Again Arm Highway. slave fed a reindeer dandelions while Master smiled with one of the biggest grins ever as he watched his slave squeal with glee.In Atlanta, we resisted the temptation of gas station fried chicken while succumbing to the allure and high school memories of MD 20/20 (well we succumbed to the temptation of buying MD anyway.  Upon recalling that the Mad Dog has a bite far more fearsome than its bark, we smartly poured it down the drain.)  Later we shared bad Margaritas on the patio in front of the hotel till 4 a.m. laughing as Master had his slave tell stories about cats in bags and dead horses and street fights.

In Dallas Master served as a judge for Great Plains Olympus while slave served as judge’s girl.

slave managed to not curse in writing with one exception in Tucson when she worked the word “poop” into an example and jotted it on the white board. People took pictures of it after class… Master was Soooooo proud of his slave that day.

Master surprised our friend Master Thompson by decking out in a full body bunny costume for Halloween. Master Thompson told Master he had a recurring hot fantasy about Master as a bunny. Basically making dreams come true is what we are all about… no matter how odd the dream.

There was molasses and misfortune. Enough said about that.

Basically we spent our title year working very hard and playing even harder. Along the way we met hundreds of amazing people, shared meals with many of them, found many close and lifelong friendships, connected with and learned from our elders across the country, and taught anyone who wanted to listen that they are the author of their own one true way. Though our classes covered various topics each of them contained the same message, Masters and slaves must trust their own path to be their best way. Master said many times, “Be committed to the people, not the fantasy” and “the quickest way to ruin a relationship is to try to make it look like someone else’s idea of M/s.”

As we head toward our competition at South Plains for International Master and slave 2014, our deepest hope is that we made you all proud and that we continue to serve the community we love so intensely.

The trouble with thank you lists is that invariably someone who is really important gets overlooked.  Inevitably those persons that don’t get mentioned are the very people who do the little things that deserve the most recognition.  They also tend to be the people who don’t do things for recognition or because they expect someone is watching; instead they are the people who do things simply because they see a need and recognize that they have the ability to help.

That said, we want to take a moment to thank some people who made several of those usually unsung contributions that helped not only make this year possible but also consistently inspired us to be the best people we could be.  Without further ado, we wish to thank in no particular order: Joseph, Judi, Elegant, Archer, Master Obsidian, slave namaste, Mr and Mrs Jeep, Goddess Indigo, Dr Clockwork, Senor Jaime, Master Ian, slave jerri, Wayne Brawner, Kathleen, Foxfinder, Sarha, Loren, Alex, The Thompson Family of OKC, Sir Gareth and slave toi, Master Tallen and slave George, and our children.

On Werewolves, Slaves, and Other Fantasy Creatures

The classic question too often posed to slaves: What if your Master told you to [insert random crazy ass no one in their right mind would do action] would you do it?

You can fill in that blank with any of a myriad of things each more nutty that the last.

Jump off a bridge: The classic homage to your mother’s line of, “If your friends jumped off a bridge would you?”

Commit suicide: This one has many variations, my favorite was “disembowel yourself,” but any self termination fits here.

Kill someone: Again variations on this with descriptions of the victim the slave is called to kill including the slave’s children, the Master, strangers, or political figures.

Commit some other crime: Rob a bank, steal a car, mug someone, jaywalking, etc.  You are really only limited by your imagination here.

Ok so why are folks so fascinated by these imagined quandaries?  More often than not, these types of questions are posed by someone who is not in a 24/7 M/s relationship.  They are trying to understand what the heck being a slave really means. They feel that slavery is somehow totally unrealistic and the notion of being owned by someone in our modern society seems pretty crazy.

They do not see how or even why a person in a Western culture would sign over the deed to their entire life to another person. For many folks, M/s looks a whole lot like a false pretense of insisting your fantasy is somehow real. Imagine some who insists that they really do have invisible wings that no one else can see, or that they are not just into puppy play but are a fully fledged werewolf who literally can mutate into a wolf anytime they want. Most folks, upon hearing these sorts of claims, would cry “Shenanigans!” and who can blame them?

That last one about the werewolf I have actually encountered.  With great seriousness a young man explained to me that this was his reality. That he could at will transform into a wolf. I decided to avoid any sort of detailed discussion of said “werewolf” ability but my first thought was, “Ok, show me.” Being somewhat familiar with how upsetting reality testing can be for someone with a delusion, I decided to just nod and say, “Ah ok cool,” and wander off to visit with different less lupine people.

Is my statement that I am a slave really all that different?  Granted it is different in that I am not claiming to shape-shift which would seem to violate all sorts of physical and biological laws, but in some ways it seems equally fanciful.  In a country where legalized slavery does not exist, in a society where individual responsibility is an expectation, in a culture where women and minorities have sacrificed their lives to attain freedom, I, a middle class white American woman, claim to be ‘a slave’ to my Master.

What does that mean?  I can’t blame a reasonable person for asking the reality testing rational questions I mentioned above. Moreover, I can’t blame anyone for questioning lots of other less extreme things, for example:

What if your Master decided to cheat on you?

What if your Master became an alcoholic?

What if your Master abused you? Is that even possible?

What if your Master violates your consent?

What if you are going through a difficult time and just don’t feel like doing what your Master demands of you?

What if you have a bad moment, hour, or day and talk back to your Master?

What if your Master really pisses you off?

These are not the first questions folks pose, but they are questions that are reasonable to wonder about. What does 24/7 slavery look like in the everyday world of going through life? Here is really where the heart of the “Shenanigans” cry comes from.  How can you claim to be something that is so contrary to being a free willed individual?

Being a slave in an M/s dynamic is a voluntary choice.  It is my free will decision. There is not a bill of sale or legally binding contract that requires me to be a slave.  There is no societal requirement that I be a slave. There is no familial obligation that I am a slave.  I simply choose to be enslaved. I can try to express in words why I personally feel that my slavery is now permanent, why I know in my core that I am not ever going to reject my position as slave or change my mind about belonging to my Master, but the words will fall short of ‘proof.’ For me, it is similar to my self-identity as a mother, an American, or a woman.  I could no more change those things than I could change that I am my Master’s slave but I came to this identity of my own free will.

Have I convinced anyone that I am a slave any better than my good friend the werewolf convinced me he could shape-shift? Probably not.  Did I answer all those nagging questions about what if? Not at all. Am I a slave? Yes.

Still you may find yourself calling “Shenanigans” and to that all I can say is let me show you. If my werewolf friend had been able to transform into a wolf man before my very eyes, I would believe he was indeed a werewolf.  The evidence in front of my eyes would be indisputable. I am living as my Master’s slave. Watch me, see me, get to know me, and I think you will see that I am not imagining a fantasy but I am living my identity.

Self-Inflicted Melt Down

“That’s it!  I’ve had it.  I am sick and tired of being a fetcher, cleaner, packer, carrier, washer, folder, organizer, etc!  Done…over it…arrrrg”. Rant, rant, rant inside my head, bursting forth in a random diatribe.  “I am sick and tired of you being lazy!  You expect me to do everything. There you sit on your ass while I am rushing around doing shit for you.”  Stomp, stomp, stomp. Rant some more.  More of the same though the words and are switched around and ever more colorful metaphors spring to life.  “You are a lump of lifeless stone while I am a grunting mindless drone working my ass off…for what?? Nothing!” Rawr! Rant, rant, rant.

Likely five minutes long felt like an hour.  I was pissed off and making no polite deferring kind respectful bones about it. There sat Master looking a bit dazed.  He had that sort of “WTF” expression.

Without giving him time to take a breath I blazed on, “You aren’t even going to respond?  You don’t give a shit about what I as saying…why would you?  This is all great for you.  You get all your stuff done. You don’t have to lift a finger.”

More blank stare.

STOMP. “I am not a sla…”  The rest of the word ‘slave’ left unspoken, I corrected to, “…servant!” Then I stopped short and said nothing.

There was the rub.  Servant versus slave. During the week, he had been stressed out. He had checked out for a few hours that afternoon. Off I went going about doing all the things I normally do for him while he was just floating by.  I had no clue what was wrong but was getting more and more pissed off with each passing moment.  Finally I broke into a million ranting shards of myself.  I was lost and clueless as to how to recover from the emotional swan dive.

Master sat and looked more confused now that I had stopped ranting.

I suddenly stumbled over my words. Still anger in my voice but also terrified and confused. “I hate being a maid. I wouldn’t take the job for a million dollars. I don’t like it one bit. I am just a worthless servant without meaning. I am supposed to be your slave!  This is all wrong.  You left me on my own, and now I am angry and want to tell you to shove it.”

He chuckled slightly. “Ok, I get that now. Calm down…it will be alright.”  That last said as he grabbed a hold of me by my hair and pulled me down close to his chest. “I am sorry I left you alone. I’m here now and you are fine. Now, go and finish packing.”

At once I was feeling shaky and crying a little and very much relieved.

He had not actually left me physically alone.  Instead he was emotionally disconnected. Long work weeks for both of us and too many responsibilities to vanilla life had distracted us without us even knowing it. He had left the building as surely as Elvis; I kept right on doing things he normally would have told me to do.

I did not wait. I did not get still before my Master and wait for his will.  I assumed. I made myself into a worker bee instead of an owned beloved slave. Rush, rush all about I went.  Doing, doing, doing…never realizing I was paddling my little canoe farther and farther away from the safety of my shore.  By the time I noticed I was drowning, I was a mess.

Master towed me back into shore.  He never pointed out that I was the one who had gotten me into trouble.  Like a father lovingly drying off his half-drowned little girl he simply made sure I was alright and knew already the lesson was taught plainly enough by the experience.

I do so love him. He is the steady ground. Thank you Master.

Will and Willingness

At an M/s group meeting we recently attended, the topic of what sustains M/s came up.  As the discussion progressed the question was raised, “How much of the dynamic is by force of the Master’s will and how much is the slave’s willing obedience?” My answer then was that my willingness has at the root, literally in the word itself and conceptually in origin, his will. As I think more about this it truly describes how I function in world.  I am willing because it is his will. This is where I reside internally, a place where there is no question about whether to be obedient or not.

That said there is a gooey center to this lovely piece of emotional chocolate. There are times I find myself at odds and in an argument with Master.  How can this happen?   How can this be possible?  How is it that in my deepest soul, I am bound under his leadership by a bond of love, respect, joy, gratefulness, and understanding and yet there are times that we fight like vanillas?  I often fretted over these times of discord. Worried myself sleepless thinking, ‘Does this mean we aren’t M/s?’ or ‘Am I not really a slave?’  Over time, as I have grown in my understanding of who and what we are, I have learned there is nothing to fear.  No terrible secret failure that is earth shattering or relationship ending.  We are fully at all time Master and slave. That never changes.  The ‘how’ is much simpler than that.  We are human. As ideal as so much of our relationship is, the reality is we are still fully human.

I spent several years of my adult life in a radical Christian faith. By comparison, Pentecostals were too liberal and snake handlers weren’t strong enough in their faith. I was raised a devout atheist so when I decided to become a Christian I approached the bible as a full uncompromising reality. If there was a Christian God, then I was going to follow fully and totally everything God wrote in His book. In those years, my daily prayer always had one constant request, “God please take my free will.”  This made perfect sense to me.

Theologically, I understood that God had given humans free will so that we could choose to love Him or not; that making that choice provided greater depth to the relationship between created and the divine. I understood that, but that accomplished, there seemed no further need for me to continue to have free will.  That mission of accepting faith was complete, surly I could reasonably now pray for God to dispense with free will in me and allow me to always walk in the best plan He had for me.  I wanted to serve God without rest, restraint, or doubt so free will needed to go. I lamented God’s apparent lack of agreement with my theory and prayed daily hoping it would one day be granted.

Years after leaving the church and faith behind, I found M/s.  The call of M/s was to that very same place inside of me that had prayed for the removal of free will.  Now, once again I am faced with a Master who does not agree with my theory that free will ought to go out to the curb on Tuesday. He enjoys the taste of my blood, sweat, and tears best because they are given by one who could choose to not give them but does so anyway.

Yes, I am still human, still burdened with free will. Enslaved and permanently his, but still with faults and shortcomings. M/s does not create angels; it allows him to tend me as his beloved sheep. Yes, his will is always my will unless I am off track and wandering onto a dangerous rocky ledge.  He finds joy in bringing his girl back into his fold. I still hope everyday that I can buck off this damn free will, end my lack of perfect willingness.  I move closer all the time and he watches over me taking pleasure in my effort.

On the Road Again

Most of my life, I have moved often and with rabid excitement. As a child, my family moved every few years.  I would be so excited about seeing the new place we were going to move, meeting new people, figuring out what was good and what was cool, and tasting all the fruits it had to offer.  Once I got married and began venturing out in the world as an adult, I continued to move with ever more frequency.  I lived up North, down South, and even in the middle.  I traded freezing cold snow storms for blazing sun then back to snow angels without a second thought.  I bounced about learning all the ways people were the same and ways they were different. I often have described myself as a gypsy at heart.

In 2004, I moved to Texas. Since that time I have lived in the same neighborhood.  I moved from an apartment to a rental house and then from the rental to my own house. In case you had not noticed, it has been 8 whole years.  I have never been in one town or state that long before.  I find myself rather dazed and confused by the notion that I have evidently settled down.  I traded my gypsy caravan for a farm house.  Planted roots and grown.

Most of the time, this seems to suit me well.  Prior to moving here, I would grow tired of my surroundings, get itchy for the change and bustle of a move.  I would feel as though I needed to move to simply feel normal.  Now I don’t feel that way.  I love so much being in my Master’s house, watching my children grow, and building friendships that are much deeper than any I’ve ever had before. I am happy, content, and vibrantly fulfilled…except for…that damn road.

The road on occasion calls to me.  I long to see places I have never been. Explore new terrain, new faces, and new cultures.  I love the whoosh of trees whizzing by on a long highway.  I adore sitting with my face plastered to an airplane’s window as I fly over unknown territory.  Over a year ago I noticed that when I had time to daydream, I would daydream about “What would I do if I won millions of dollars in the lottery?”  Always my fantasy would turn to travel.

I know it is cheesy to evoke the words of Willie Nelson to set the tone for a piece of writing. It seems sort of lame in a way.  Drawing on the poetic and campy beloved song “On the Road Again” sounds trite. Simple and to the point Willie gives his song images and feelings we all can connect with.  Friends, gypsies, music, and love-good stuff really. Going places that we have never been, there is an allure in that.  For me, it is a lusty allure.

Master is a watchful sort.  He doesn’t jump on an idea without letting it simmer.  He listened to my rambling and chattering and over time seemed to come to a conclusion. His girl needed a little road time. We had presented here and there over the years at local kinky events.  He wanted to focus more energy on teaching and presenting.  He saw things in the leather community that he respected and wanted to support. And there was that girl of his daydreaming about being on the road again.

Ultimately after much thought and consultation with fabulous mentors, he decided we would run for our regional M/s title in 2013. He set me to the task of submitting proposals outside of our Austin area. Sure enough, invitations began to come in. We traveled to Phoenix, AZ and presented at the Southwest Leather Conference in January. Oh how I pasted myself to the airplane window!  During the whole weekend, I drank in the views, people, sounds, and teaching. We attended South Plains Leather Fest in Dallas and while closer to home, I still felt that passion for adventure aroused.

In the coming months we are scheduled to present at Tribal Fire in Oklahoma, Northern Exposure in Alaska, and Great Lakes Leather Alliance in Indianapolis. We are also attending Northwest Leather Fest in San Jose and the Master slave Conference in Washington DC. I am buzzing with anticipation. Traveling is like a fetish for me, I am giddy just thinking about it. Teaching and learning from all the wonderful and varied folks we will meet is joyful.  Seeing the places they play, live, and work will be exhilarating. I am so excited. On the road again, making music with my friends.  For me, at Master’s side, nothing could be a better life.

Thank you to Master for seeing in me my heart’s desire and finding space in his life goals to bring them to reality.

Death Do Us Part and Green Checks

A few years before he and I met, Master’s mother had a terrible car accident and was paralyzed from the chest down.  Because of this, she used an electric wheelchair to stubbornly barrel through her life doing just exactly what she wanted to do. Master got his dominance and intensity from her. They were peas in a pod though neither of them saw it that way. Mom had chickens, love birds, and yippy dogs because she wanted to. She had a huge garden with prize winning flowers and exotic plants surrounding her home. It did not matter to her that she could not do much of the tending to any these; she just found ways to organize her health care workers into an army of animal wranglers and unintentional gardeners. She lived on her own terms.

The physical condition of someone with her injuries tends to cause a mudslide of other health issues.  She was no exception to this. Over the last year, her various infections, pressure wounds, and cardiac problems began to drag her into a slow downward spiral. Master and I visited her often, he called nearly every day to check on her, and several times we went to stand vigil at the ICU when she seemed to be about to pass way.

Watching her decline and knowing she would not live long weighed on Master all the time. He had a hard time focusing on things and became a bit forgetful. He lost his centered calm way of approaching situations at work.  He found himself unsure of how to handle his mother’s medical situation and somehow that left him unsure about life in general. Mastery was not at the top of the list of things that had his attention. Things slipped away. Rituals stopped. Play became less frequent. His thoughts turned increasingly inward as her condition worsened.

A few weeks ago, mom died. She went out kicking and screaming because despite the long decline she had been in and various advices that she consider hospice, she still insisted that she would get better.  The night before she passed her and Master had an argument because he wanted to talk to her about dying, she was having none of it. “You just want to get rid of me,” she said. “No, no of course not Mom, I’m just trying to talk to you about what is really going on,” he tried to assure her.  A plan was made for Master and I to go the next morning very early and meet with her, her primary care doctor, and her care team to get a group understanding of what was happening.

That morning we arrived before her doctor and while we waited with her for him to arrive, she suffered a ruptured aneurism. She thrashed about in pain for a few minutes, she and Master both equally confused and overwhelmed; the nurses and I understanding what was happening but with no way of comforting either of them. When the doctor walked in a few minutes later, he said she would pass within 24 hours. She never spoke again and died in less than 3 hours.

The last thing she said to Master was, “I just want you to know, this (the pain she was feeling) has never happened before, this is new.”  The reason she said this was because of their disagreements about her not telling Master the whole truth about her medical situation.  He had always been so frustrated when he would eventually find out she had been keeping something from him. Imagine the two most domly Doms you know each trying to run the other’s life, that was how they locked heads over her illnesses; each wanting to maintain control, each wanting to help the other with their burden, each fiery in their determination to be right.

In the end, neither of them felt in control. It was a very dark day. In the hours, days, and weeks since Master has struggled with feeling out of control of things.  Her animals all needed homes, her funeral had to be arranged, her accounts and assets needed to be accounted for.  What to do with her things? How to deal with her collection of dozens of ceramic statues of chickens? Each thing piling onto his shoulders and pressing him down. Sadness at her loss. Fear of doing something wrong. Wanting to honor her. All of it in a tumble has fallen hard on him.

And there I am. How does the slave find center in the Master’s storm?  How does a servant support the Master when things are so grim? Months of distraction take a toll on a relationship and in a Master/slave relationship this effect is intensified. Last weekend Master and I attended South Plains Leather Fest.  We had planned the trip prior to Mom passing and Master decided he wanted to go to take a break from all the hassles of managing her estate. We both hoped the weekend away would allow us time to focus on our dynamic. That did not really happen. Instead, Master did have the chance to spend time being more social.  Spending time with our leather family and visiting with old and new friends in the community was great. We both had a good time but still, there I was a slave at a loss for direction.

All weekend Master would turn to me and ask questions like, “where are we going next?” and, “where do you want to eat?” He planned a scene but got tired and instead we fucked and fell asleep. There was neither Mastery nor joy in him. Both left me exhausted. I had spent the prior months quietly humming in the back ground supporting him. I took leave to visit his mom, washed her face with warm water when she was feeling down, cleaned her bottom and dressed her wounds. I cleaned his home, folded his underwear, cooked his food, sucked his cock, tried to smile and bring him laughter when he was down, lifted him in every way I knew.

During the weekend, things were amplified because of the lack of other distractions and on the ride home I was exhausted. I don’t mean exhausted physically, I mean exhausted in my emotional life. I felt sucked dry like there was nothing left in me to give. As we drove home, Master seemed to notice me for the first time that day.  He said, “What are you thinking about?”  Part of our dynamic is that I am to always be transparent and always answer honestly and completely any question he asks. I knew my thoughts were on this sucked dry feeling and that Master had enough stress on him, so instead of answering fully I said, “Nothing good.  You aren’t in the mood for a deep conversation.”  He answered, “Oh yes well I have been kind of talking about fluff,” and was distracted and began chit chatting about not much again. I was glad to have averted him and we drove another several minutes.  Then he looked over at me again seeming to ‘see’ me and said, “But no really, what are you thinking?”  A second time I answered without really answering and he nodded and began talking about wanting coffee or some such.  After a few more minutes he turned again to me and said, “Wait, I really want to know.  What are you thinking?”  At this third inquiry, I answered that I was thinking that I was drained emotionally and feeling down but that I didn’t think he was up for talking about that.  He assured me that he was ready to listen and so I explained how things had been for me.

I told him about the drift that had happened over the preceding months during his mother’s decline.  I was not angry, wasn’t upset, or really any emotion; I was simply exhausted. I understood that all of his behavior was reasonable given the circumstance but that I had arrived at that emotional point where there felt like there was no more within to put out. Power exchange 101 it would seem but without anything flowing in eventually I had nothing left to give out. I felt empty. Master listened, really listened, and in some odd way seemed I like a man awaking from a long dream. He was surprised because he truly had not been aware of how drained he felt also.  He thanked me for talking to him about it and said he would ponder how to ‘fix’ things.

The next afternoon, we went to a bank to handle some account stuff for Mom’s accounts. As we sat there, the bank associate asked what type of checks we would want.  I asked what types they had and she showed me a book filled with colorful check styles. Wheee!  I love pretty things and so it was fun to flip through.  Master had been sort of distracted, leaving me to do most of the talking as had become his normal custom of late. I started to pick something I found pretty and he turned and said, “We will get the green checks.”    Boring checks that had nothing pretty about them were not making me happy so I pouted and turned to him with a look of confusion. He said to the bank lady and to me, looking me in the eye in a direct sure way that I had not seen in months, “We will get the green checks.”

I knew the sound of my Master’s voice.  It had been quieted by the storm but now I heard it.  There was no grand repair plan.  No apologies needed.  No dramatic flourish.  Simply by turning his focus back to his authority, he had infused my soul with a rush of fresh energy. As we drove away from the bank we both felt the energy flowing. Unstopping the dam was so quick and the center of my world was righted.  Since that moment, there have been no more wishy-washy decisions, no more distracted, confused times.  There has still been stress and sadness, but Master has his feet again and I am filled to overflowing with a sense of purpose.

People often fear failure so much that they bring failure to life. Instead of fear or failure, Master embraced his own humanity.  He accepted that yes he had lost his focus and nothing about that meant he was a ‘bad Master’ or ‘a failure’.  What death had parted, Master’s hand rejoined.

Master

You are the King of all land I walk in,

I carry your banner in my soul

with each step and breath.

My adoration knows no bounds.

Nothing about you is unloved by me.

You are fully accepted into me,

cherished by me.

Your kiss sustains me,

your glance empowers me,

your scent bewitches me.

I follow you as a flower does the sun

now and for all my days.

Finding Center

Waking up this morning I felt out of sorts. Rather exhausted and dazed with a sort of sick blah feeling. No particular reason. No cold or flu or anything. I have been feeling a bit blue this whole week. The kids are with their biological father this year for Christmas.  This is not a happy thing for me.  I have been fretting about being away from them and feeling a bit like the Grinch. I thought about them getting picked up last night, not to return until after Christmas, as I stumbled to the toilet. I was cold so I went and found pajamas to warm my naked sleepy body. Once dressed, I felt sure that I was about to simply lay back down a cry awhile.

I turned back to the bed and saw Master lay like a painting in our blanket and pillow nest.  Early morning light coming in our bedroom windows played shadows across his naked body.  He was turned away from me, blankets cast off. His handsome shoulders lead down to his back and hips, perfect manly ass round and smooth. I stopped and took it all in.  I wished I had a camera. I wished I had a magic spell that would forever capture the whole taste of the moment. All the grumbles in my morning thoughts were gone. Finding center is so simple in his service.

Life and Time

This week I will have another birthday. Click off another year of living. I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.  In my professional life I have worked with death and dying a good bit. In my personal life, I have buried several cousins, all of my grandparents, my mother, and my father. Life is always shorter than we imagine it will be and I keep this consciously in mind every day. I make choices based on this reality.  This is in many ways the greatest gift that working with grief has given me, the power to live with that knowledge. I do not see it as morbid and it does not depress me, but it does change me.

This week is I will have another birthday, my 40th to be precise.  That sounds old to my mind. I count the years that have gone by since high school and am amazed to note that it has been 23 years. That is more years than I was old when I graduated. I can remember talking with friends about “the year 2000” and how old we would be by then. It seemed a million years away.

This week my youngest daughter had her last elementary school musical. In preparation for the musical we had to make a trip to the store to get her ‘girl clothes.’ Tomboy that she has always been, she had nothing that would suit the dress requirements. I discovered that she no longer can shop in the girl’s section. Her body has started to change, she is filling out, and she has gotten so tall. Now she has to wear clothes from the junior’s section. She fussed about not wanting a dress, then fell in love with a cute little pair of boots and transformed into a teeny little pre-teen clamoring for very girly things.

This week my middle daughter got her hair cut and figured out how to make her eyes even more stunning with makeup than I had ever thought they could be. During the fore mentioned shopping trip, she found a great little shirt she wanted to try on.  It was low cut and form fitted around woman sized breasts. I told her it wouldn’t fit and she bet me it would. It did fit. She has suddenly got woman sized breast.

This week my oldest daughter put on her formal concert gown for band and magically transformed into a beautiful woman.  Stunning. Simply stunning. Hips, boobs, hair a model would kill for. She has a woman’s face now. Her cheeks are narrow, her chin delicate.

I held my Master’s hand tightly during the musical. Sitting on the cafeteria benches at the same elementary that my older daughters went to.  Listening to the same songs they sang during their own fifth grade performances. Tears came to my eyes and I gripped tighter.  I could see in my mind’s eye my 50th birthday year. All of them grown. All of them outside of my grasp. Beyond my womb, my embrace, my home. Off into their lives. I clung to his hand knowing his hand would still be there holding mine in that not so distant future.

I love my life. I know it will go by much too quickly.

May I?

Often someone will ask “Can I…?” and get the obvious correction of, “You can, but you may not” in reply. Few enjoy this.  Children are maddened by it.  Adults are even more annoyed. Grammatical dogma it would seem is an unpopular stand to take. As my father used to say, “No one likes a smart-ass.”  When my Master says, “smart-ass” to me I quip, “You want to be with a dumbass?” Words are fun but can grate the nerves at times; correcting a ‘can’ to a ‘may’ may indeed seem smart-ass.

Each night as Master and I end our day, I ask his permission to get into his bed.  I often say, “Can I get into your bed?”  Then I generally correct myself to “I mean, may I get into your bed, Sir?”  I honestly can’t remember a time when he corrected me.  I doubt he ever said the classic, “Can but may not” retort. Generally I try to use good grammar, but in the evening as I hustle to his bed, these days rushing to get my naked body under the warm covers, I forget myself and use ‘can’ where ‘may’ ought to be.

My Master is very well spoken the ‘can’ versus ‘may’ swap is among the many and sundry common errors he finds annoying. Send him an email that uses “your” when “you’re” is what is meant and be assured he is likely to decide that if whatever you are writing about isn’t important to you, it certainly is not important to him. I love this about him.  I love his quick intellect, attention to detail, and unwillingness to accept behaviors that he views as wrong simply because they are commonly practiced.

Despite this preference for speaking correctly, he does not correct me as I ask to enter his bed. His expectation is that I will always do my best. He has related his expectation for proper grammar often enough. He leads by his example of being well spoken. The act of correcting me, when he trusts that I will correct myself, it seems to me is unappealing to him.

At night when I mistakenly ask “can I” it trips a little light bulb in my head.  I hear the words come from my mouth and recognize that he has said many times that this is not proper usage. I correct myself and restate the question with ‘may.’ There is a humility that this correction creates in my mind. Not shame, fear, or embarrassment, but a humbling sense of submission.

In that moment I feel aware of him, his ownership of me, and his expectations for me. For me, saying the words “May I get into your bed” is centering. I remember that the question is not simply a habit or empty ritual.  I remember that I am his, he has the power to refuse, and he has control and authority over everything that I am and will be. The act of asking, and correcting myself to ask properly if necessary, is one of the daily actions that bring me into focus. I am just as much in service to him before I ask that question as I am after, but there is an attentiveness that is renewed as I approach him with humble thoughts.

Often people ask how a 24/7 M/s relationship can stay vibrant. People wonder if the daily grind of life will water down the dynamic. I have heard talks on the absolute need to have multiple complex rituals each day so that you don’t “slip into vanilla.” I cannot see the future; no one can. But I do know this, no one ‘slips’ into vanilla like a clown slipping on a banana peel. If you count on rituals to bulwark against vanilla invaders, you will be distressed by the results. The bastion is in Master. What shelters me from the storm of slipping away into egalitarian misery is his quick intellect, attention to detail, and unwillingness to accept behavior he sees as wrong. His grammar is as all else, there is a standard and there are no poetic licenses issued in his domain.