NaNoWriMo has started and as I sit here looking into the white space of my blog I am not hit by the daunting challenge of what I have taken on but by the simple fact that I am looking at the wrong fucking blog. I have a a site set up for my fiction and I should be working there but instead I am here. Why?
I think part of it is because I know there are people that listen here. The fiction site is (semi)private and I do not get the feedback. A writer may say he is not writing for others but we all know the truth. If it weren’t for those other eyes, those other minds we would be scratching our thoughts onto napkins and sticking them under our beds. So to placate my need to reach out to people that might be passing by I stop here first on my way to the dark hole that is an unfinished book.
Discipline is not just for your slave. It is a practice for the Master too. The beauty of it though is that I use Dedita to keep me on track. By having her life to control, I am given a cue. It is like a leash in my hand that reminds me that I am walking my pet. I am finding more and more than the nuance and acts of Mastery are not new to me but the naming of them as such is. I was raised in a left-leaning house with a father who was president of his local union for nearly fifteen years. I was raised to see titles with disdain. They were labels we put on ourselves to create structure where there was not structure. I took this to mean that I was being raised with an egalitarian worldview but somehow that never seemed to fit quite right.
Generation of Swine
I think I was tricked as a child. I was raised with the words of a Marxist but the actions of a Master. My father talked a big game about how we were all equal. His language was about fairness and the rule of law. He wanted it to be about the work and not the station of the man. Yet, in his actions there was definitely structure. Respect was given to those who earned it. There was no democracy in the house, his word was law. It was not as if his rules were unfair, but they were his rules and make no mistake, they were enforced.
This created a bit of a dichotomy within me as I became an adult and took on the father role. I believed that I was supposed to be egalitarian. I thought the words were what ruled my actions but the way I wanted to act, the way I felt I should act, flew in the face of this. Why do I want to put my foot down when I should be taking everyone’s POV into consideration? Why is it the more I let my wife decide how she is going to run her life the less attracted I am to her?
I am looking back at the way my father acted and I see where the confusion comes in. It is not the words that carried the weight of his lessons. He is not a wordsmith. My father is an artist, a visual person. He shows you what he wants you to learn with his actions. He railed against class and inequality not because he thought there should be no structure but because the structure seemed arbitrary. If you game the system you can receive a title without ever earning it. People with money were not better, should not be treated as better just because they had money. An education did not make you a Master anymore than a lack of education made you a slave. Who you are is based on who you are. Likewise, your station in life did not make you better or worse. If you wanted to lead then you led, if you wanted to follow, you followed. It is not a good or bad thing to be in the front or taking up the rear. What was a good or bad thing was trying to be something that you are not. Owning your place in life, being comfortable in who you are is what is important.
This is what Mastery means to me. It is not a label that I put on myself, it is a way of behaving. It is an amount of respect for personal choices and a natural order of things. I do not care who you are or where you come from, I will show the respect of a Master when you have shown me you are worthy. I will not look down on you for accepting your place as a slave. You are who you were meant to be and as such in a better place than most.