And is it even necessary to do so?
I may keep this behind a password or I may not. I’ll decide later. There is some language here that may be confusing to some. Understand that, because of the way my brain works, most of the time when I am talking about a master or a servant I am using the terms in a feudal or militaristic sense. It would not be inappropriate to translate much of this small and unorganized essay into an exploration of what it means to be part of a BDSM community, but that is not the intended audience or goal. This rambles quite a bit and the transitions don’t always make sense, but this is how my mind is currently playing around an idea that won’t leave it alone.
I told a bit about the extended series of rituals and plays that were part of this year’s May Moon, but not too much about the central ritual- the changing of the courts. The formal ceremony to mark the transition lasted a long time. Almost two hours, actually. That’s a very long time to stand perfectly still looking like a Crane- aka the Champion of the King and of the Light Fae… aka “look mommy a chicken!!” At the end I had completely lost sensation in my legs and feet although fortunately it’s not the first time I’ve had to stand like that for an extended period and I knew how to not lock my knees. I remember thinking that I wasn’t 19 anymore and that this was getting very, very difficult.
Then I remember thinking that I would make it through. ‘The Crane stands because the King needs them to.’ was the idea forming in my mind. It occurred to me, right on the heels of that thought, that I’ve never done as well without a leader to follow as I have with one. I began to wonder if that was a universally human trait or if it is restricted to some portion of the population. I got through it all, still standing.
The thought that began there has been in my mind ever since. Does a human need to have a master of some sort? If we are the master, is that because we serve ourselves? Our followers? Or something we perceive to be higher?
I believe that in a perfect hierarchical system, obligation flows in a circle from the lowest to the highest who must always consider and take care of the needs of the lowest. The church, for example, teaches that this is the ideal of humans falling in line behind holier humans who serve their God who serves the lowliest of humans first. Of course, I’m not sure it has ever actually worked that way. But obligation is only a small part of the question.
I also know that service need not be to another human, or even to any other being at all. Did not Odin sacrifice himself for himself to gain the wisdom of the runes? This is an equally valid example of the idea that I’m still circling around.
We seem to call forth our best efforts not for our own amusement but in service.
As the Crane was able to stand through a ceremony for the King (a small feat for a champion, but not easy for the one wearing the mask), I was able to stand through it for my good friends who wrote it.
I have always been better able to hold to a diet or to an exercise plan when there was someone other than my own self involved. Do we simply require company or do we need to do it for someone else? Is it enough to do it for your own self?
Because I know exactly how damaged my own psyche is- do we fail to be motivated when we serve ourselves because we do not value our own selves? Thus, if we do not value our own selves must we seek a master in order to create to the best of our ability? Or is seeking a master to guide and focus our ability simply a different route to the same goal, regardless of the light in which we view ourselves?
In this, I can only speak to my own experience. I know that my self-image is grossly disfigured because of my weight. I also know that I have been able to change my body before- transforming fat to muscle bulk that left me actually weighing more but wearing a smaller size. Nice feeling, that. So why can’t I do it now? Why can’t I get motivated again to do the stretches and work the form and not eat the candy? I did it before. Does ten years really make *that* much of a difference?
When it worked before it was for a goal and a career that I can no longer perform. I’ve had too many injuries, and I know that those same injuries are a very real part of the difficulty I face now. I also know that I don’t have any serious, tightly held goals in mind for myself beyond the still growing farm and all of its frustrations and set backs. Is it the lack of personal goal? Is it the lack of, for any better term, master?
Or is it merely an overabundance of stress and frustration blotting out everything else that might otherwise prove beneficial?
I don’t have an answer yet. I don’t really expect one in response to this. I am still circling an idea, not quite sure what to make of the question that won’t leave.
Who do I serve? Is it the same question as ‘who do I love?’ or the same question as ‘what goals have I set?’ Is it enough to say “myself?”