The only constant is change…

One of the constant joys in my life are the people I have in it. Flagg recently mentioned how interesting it is to realize how careful we are with those we surround ourselves with, and that is very true. I am tied to those in my life by a web of obligation, love and fierce pack loyalty. Some of those connections are overt, and others are not.

When you live like that you wind up looking things in the eye that you might otherwise tend to avoid or ignore. The implicit must, at times, be explicit. It leads to emails like the one I sent last week which I present here because it frankly says what I want to say better than the half dozen blog entry drafts I tossed into the virtual trash can. I have made corrections for spelling and one change where I think I could have worded the original email better, I have indicated the old text with a strike-out. I have also added a footnote.

Hey all,

This email is to some degrees a formality due to our shared power structure – and it is also because you folks are friends and peers. So lets get the formal part out of the way…

Tatsumi is no longer considered owned or in my service. As a result, I no longer have those types of authorities to extend to my fellow Estate members or honored allies(1). This change of circumstance reflects no failure on her part in her service or her behavior. She has been obedient, reliable and well mannered. She continues as my girl, and I as her Daddy.

So, formality dealt with, what the hell is happening here? A fine question and one I will be no doubt discussing and blogging about for a while to come. The core is this…

Ownership is an organic process in my relationships – it means that someone will as a result of their nature accept your will over their own. Things that happen organically also stop sometimes – they flux. In this case that flux has gone far enough – as a result of many factors- that I no longer consider the term appropriate.

Service is a whole other kettle of fish – for me service is a formal arrangement, one that is sought and an honor that is bestowed. I expect and demand that the status of service to myself and this house be considered as such – an honor and a point of pride. Without that pride, without that joy in that status then even if the service itself is exemplary that isn’t enough for me for either of us… it isn’t right. Tatsumi would have continued to serve well, but she was not proud of it – and that is not a burden I wanted either of us to be stuck with.

Good enough is the enemy of best.

Tatsumi is a odd beastie, she always has been. She has and continues to be a interesting case in power dynamics. Currently she has a ascendant side of self determination – her own alpha qualities were chafing at the collar, making it hard for her to be clear in her mind about being owned and being proud of her service. The issue was not being proud of serving ME, it is an issue of being proud of service at all.

In the metaphor of the classic formal diner situation, she could not be happy and proud to eat in the kitchen at this time, she yearns for the freedom to sit at the table. She is curious about the conversations and whether she might fit in among that group more comfortably 🙂

Her sense of obligation to me as someone she loves and as her Daddy would have kept her there – but when it became clear to me that she was avoiding situations where she would have to face identification as my property things had to change – so I changed them. I would much rather she be able to be comfortable in her own skin, and me in mine, with the introduction of her as my girl and I as her Daddy.

As her Daddy I continue to exert a certain amount of influence that I have every intention of using and I fully expect the end result of this change to be to my (and her) advantage. With the energy drain of serving well when one no longer has their heart in their service gone I expect I will benefit from the extra freedom of thought and action… certainly experience has shown it is so 🙂

I fully expect this all to be interesting as hell :)” – Soulhuntre – 01.26.3009

My relationship with Tatsumi is one I wouldn’t trade for anything… it is a crucible in which many of my views on power and it’s dynamics have been forged. When, exactly, do you own someone and why – how did it start? When and why does it endure? When and how does it stop?

The truth is sometimes it comes and it goes. A long time ago I posted something short but critical to my understanding of power and in particular the phenomena of ownership.

“It turns out ownership can be a tricky and elusive beast… even organic things are not always simple. I am vividly aware of this from my own life. By analogy ownership will twist and turn, it will sometimes try and escape or defend itself. Ownership is sometimes something you need to work to pin down.” – me, cause I rule(2)

As I have discussed at length in the past, there are big differences in my world between service, ownership, and the influences and connections of a “Daddy”. I certainly don’t mind all those folks who mingle them… it just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes those things all run in parallel and sometimes they don’t. In this situation, they don’t.

Notes:

  1. I doubt that is the way most people would start a  letter about fairly important change in their lives, but when you live the way we do these things need to be said, clearly and out loud because the consequences are important. We are talking about relationships that result in folks having the literal authority to put the lives of others at risk. You do not leave that stuff to “sure, they probably know” or “I think that’s how it is”. You say it out loud 🙂
  2. Well, I sort of rule. I mean, not anymore(3)
  3. Actually, I do, it’s just more subtle(4)
  4. Except for Flaggs shiny new girl, who thanks to our connections I do, in fact, still rule.