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Slavery in a Word -- Drive

A couple of weeks ago, Master Jim and I gave a day long presentation on Master/slave relationships for a local group.  As always, we opened the day by asking people to name characteristics they associated with Masters and slaves.  The responses were varied and interesting -- we filled several flip chart pages with triple and quadruple columns of words.  But one word that didn't appear on the slave list (and has never appeared, to the best of my memory, any time we've given this class) was the word "driven."


Why not, I wonder?  We've made strides -- at least in my view -- in how we view slaves in at least parts of our community.  Oh sure, I still hear from time to time that slaves have no opinions, should be meek, and should never be allowed to speak, but I hear it less and less and when I do, I hear more people speaking up to contest these assumptions.  (Yes, I've been very publicly accused of not being a slave because I speak in public -- even though it's with my Owner's permission.  But that's a tale for another day.)  And yet, no one seems to think of slaves as being "driven." 


In my view, the people I've known who have proven they are able to live successfully as slaves for the long haul are all "driven,"although perhaps not in the way we generally think of that quality.  I'm not talking about being driven to be famous, to have power or to make money.  I'm talking about knowing what you want to achieve and focusing on that goal, many times almost single-mindedly.  So how does that relate to being a slave?


I believe order to successfully enter a Master/slave relationship, a slave has to be driven  to find a Master.  That means putting yourself in a place where people who identify as Masters can be found.  I've had more than one slave in my time in the community come to me, complaining they couldn't find a Master.  When I ask where they've been looking, I've frequently gotten the answer that they aren't active in any local community, don't go to any events and in fact, spend the majority of their free time at [their kid's soccer games, the knitting circle, on the golf course, watching Netflix, fill in the blank with your favorite vanilla activity].  Doing vanilla things in vanilla places isn't wrong and you might even find your Owner in Vanilla Land but as a general matter, you'll have better luck finding someone interested in knitting at the local knitting circle and someone interested in Master/slave relationships at your local MAsT chapter.  Putting yourself out there as a slave looking for a relationship takes drive.  And even if you're already in a vanilla relationship that has the potential to become a M/s relationship, it still may mean being driven to find ways to successfully convert that relationship to one focused on Mastery and slavery. 


I also believe that anyone who chooses to live in a way that is in significant opposition to what the world expects (and often demands) has to be driven to do it successfully.  To take an example from nature, think about salmon that have to swim upstream to spawn.  If those fish weren't driven by a deep biological imperative to reproduce, they'd never even try to swim upstream.  The very idea is illogical.  But despite the hardships of swimming upstream and the likelihood that in the end, they wont make it, salmon try.  Or, if fish dont do it for you, consider the women and men who take up lives of religious service.  Those are some driven folks -- driven to serve their gods in some of the most extreme ways we can imagine.  Give up their money?  Yes.  Give up their freedom to do as they please?  Absolutely.  Even in some cases give up their very names or how they physically present themselves?  Of course.  You don't sign up for that kind of life unless you are driven to live that way -- as a servant of your god or as a slave to your Owner.


As I write this, I'm noting my strong reactions to this word.  As a slave who would describe herself as "driven," I almost feel I have to justify that descriptions and make it okay for me to be that way.  There are a lot of slaves out there who write a great deal more about their slavery than I do, and I can't recall any of them describing themselves as driven.  Instead, I most commonly read that as a slave I should let go, live for the moment, be able to bend, and yes the dreaded s word be submissive.  I think all of those things are true, to one extent or another.  But as is my nature, I always see slavery as a study in contrasts so while I have to bend to my Owners will and what the universe brings to me, I also have to be focused and driven enough in my course of slavery to push around, over, under and through the obstacles that I meet on my path. 


In a word, you have it drive.

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Slavery in a Word--Consent

Of all the words sure to incite a flame war on any leather/SM social network, email list or chat site, “consent” has to be close to the top of the list. (Right along with “true”, “safewords” and “abuse”. I’m sure I’ll get to those words eventually!)

When asked about the importance of consent in a M/s relationship, I confess I will sometimes flippantly say, “Consent is highly overrated.” In truth, I think that’s both wrong – and right.

First, for anyone out there who doesn’t know me, let me say I fully understand that non-consensual slavery of the terrible kind practiced in the United States prior to the Civil War and regrettably still carried on in some places in the world, is morally wrong. It’s reprehensible. In the U.S., it’s prohibited by the 13th Amendment. I get that. Really. No argument from me. So let’s move on.

Those of who live as Masters and slaves know that what we’re living daily is more accurately described as “consensual slavery.” While the concept of “consensual slavery” is admittedly more than a bit of contradiction, I haven’t come up with a better way to capture the role of consent in these relationships in a couple of words, so I’m going with it. (I refuse to use “power exchange” or “total power exchange.” It sounds like some New Age cult ritual. But I digress.)

In consensual slavery, one person (the slave) has consensually entered into a state of subjugation to another (the Master). The Master has complete ownership and control over the slave as a result of the slave’s consent to that state of being. And, not inconsequentially, the Master has also consented to accept the power and responsibility that goes with that state of being. (But I’ll leave the Master side of the equation for Master Jim to comment on.) It’s only consensual if both parties consent, after all.

Of course, the law of the United States and most other countries won’t enforce this state of being. For me, that’s what makes consent in M/s relationships so critically important – unlike almost any other relationship out there that I can think of, a Master and slave consent to live in a state completely unsupported by law or social structure. When you’re navigating in the world that far outside of the boundaries of society, you’d damn well better have consciously decided to go there. You’d better not go there without a lot of thought. And you’d better not go there without truly knowing and trusting the Master. (No, talking with him/her on FetLife and Skype for 3 months doesn’t count – even if you use a camera. Sorry. It just doesn’t.) As the old maps of the world used to label uncharted territory, “Here there be monsters” – and without a doubt, you encounter monsters of many sorts, both those within and those without, if you live as a slave for any period of time. No one should be forced to sail the deep waters of slavery where there be monsters. Consent is critical.

But once I gave my consent to be Master Jim’s slave, then suddenly (perhaps even ironically), consent was highly overrated. Why? Because I don’t have to give consent each and every time my Owner gives me an order. I don’t buy into the concept that I must have a safeword with which I can stop any scene I don’t like. (What’s that? The sound of the SM Safety Police knocking at Master Jim’s door?) And perhaps worst/craziest of all, I don’t believe I have the right to leave this M/s relationship because things get tough, or I’m not having “fun”, or I don’t like a decision my Owner makes, or I have a bad day/week/month/year or I’m just tired of it.

That last statement always brings people screeching to a halt, followed by a full throttle rush to inform me that the law doesn’t allow slavery and I can walk out the door any time and no one can stop me.

Yeah, yeah. I get it. Please see paragraph 3, above.

What most of the world, including my own beloved leather/SM community, doesn’t get is that because I believe consent in these relationships is so important – and so unimportant – I really don’t give a damn what the law says. In a leather/SM community that loudly preaches everyone’s right to be who they are and do what they like, surely we can accept the idea that a sane, healthy person could consent to give up their right to decide where to be and what to do, even though the law won’t enforce it. Surely we can believe that there are still people out there who could make the fully informed decision to hand over consent permanently – and then live with and by that decision. Even when it isn’t fun. Maybe even when it hurts us to do so. Welcome to “edgeliving”, ya’ll.

So what about the people who make poor decisions around who or what they consent to and then suffer the consequences? Shouldn’t they be able to withdraw consent? What about that, slave marsha?

Please see paragraphs 3 and 6, above.

For me, withdrawing consent is the nuclear bomb of M/s relationship. Nuclear bombs exist, no matter how much I wish they didn’t. The decision to push the button, to drop the bomb, to walk away, to withdraw consent, also exists. But when that happens, the blast obliterates everything. Nothing is the same. Nothing can be repaired – not the relationship and perhaps most importantly, not me. I believe if I were to withdraw my consent to live in a M/s relationship with Master Jim, it would do irreparable damage to my identity as a slave.

But you know, that just isn’t something I worry about on a daily basis. It would be almost impossible for us to live our lives if all we did all day long, day after day, week after week, was to think and worry about what a nuclear holocaust would be like. Like the result of dropping a nuclear bomb, the consequences of withdrawing consent from a M/s relationship are, for me, so earth-shattering, it’s almost unthinkable. The situation in which I would withdraw consent and walk away from my Owner would have to be so dire, so unimaginable, that I just don’t spend a lot of time imagining it. There’s no reason to. Understanding that the bomb is there and that I don’t ever want to experience it are enough.

In a word, there you have it – consent.

N.B. – I consider the word “Master” to be gender-neutral and use it to cover those folks of whatever gender or sexual orientation are on the side of the equation who exercise control and ownership.
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A Story

Once upon a time, a Master and his slave created a blog to write about their M/s journey.  The blog was known as “Edgeliving” and from time to time, they wrote about their joys and struggles, about the perfect socks and the search to find a Butch, and for the Master, another slave or two. 

Writing wasn’t always easy because they traveled a lot and besides, the slave’s mother had once told her, “Never write down anything you don’t want the world to read!” – which is a bit of a buzz kill on writing.  (Mothers – you can never get away from what they teach you!)  But still the Master and slave wrote from time to time.  (And they found the Butch, too!  The slaves, not so much. Yet.)

Time went on.  As it did, the part of the slave’s service that focused on her work outside of the home and running a leather event became very time consuming.  Because of her work travel, the slave was instructed to stay home from many of the leather events she used to attend.  And the Master and slave wrote less and less.

Finally, one day, the slave went to the Master and expressed that she felt terribly disconnected from the community.  She explained that she accepted the decision for her to travel less, but could she do something to connect out to the community more?  Could she maybe have an hour or so each week to write on the Edgeliving blog?

The Master, being wise, kind, benevolent and the very picture of a studly Old Guard Leather Master, of course said yes.  But what to write about?  The slave, being a slave, fretted, worried and thought about the problem (far more than was really necessary).

Thus was born the idea of “The Word of the Week.”

So each week, I… uh, I mean, the slave… oh never mind, you all know it’s me, right? Each week, I’m going to draw a word out of a box and write whatever I think about that word in connection with my slavery.  That way, I don’t have to stress each week about my topic.  And you, Gentle Reader, can help, if you wish.  Send me a word that you’d like me to write about and I’ll throw it in.  Oh, and don’t be surprised if there are guest writing appearances by a certain studly Master when he feels like it!

If you have a word for me, post it in blog comments, send me a message at FetLife (slavemarsha) or email it to me (

And they all lived happily every after.

--slave marsha


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Out of Service

You all know the feeling you get when you need some cash and go the ATM only to see that the screen reads – “Temporarily out of service”.  Think about how annoyed you get when you are travelling and need to make an important call but you pick up your cell phone and the screen reads – “No service”.  We rely on our 21st century technologies to provide us service and when they are unavailable we become frustrated, irritated, and even angry. So what happens when a slave that you have relied on for many years of uninterrupted service is temporarily “out of service?” Have you experienced this? What was your reaction? Or if you have not, what do you think your reaction would be? As readers of this journal know from slave marsha’s recent post about her surgery, on April 19, 2011, when I flipped the “slave activation switch” slave’s marsha’s screen read -

This slave is temporarily out of service.

The message wasn't unexpected.  slave marsha had surgery that day, and because it was elective, I knew well in advance when it would occur, what period of recovery we were looking at, and what physical limitations would be placed on her.  I was very fortunate that I had this time to prepare for my slave’s period of incapacitation.   Nevertheless, I do not believe that the six weeks between the date I gave permission for the surgery and the date of the procedure would have been sufficient to prepare both myself and slave marsha had I not given serious thought to what I would do far in advance of the situation actually occurring.

My impetus for thinking about incapacitated slaves was triggered by a personal story told to me some years ago by a good friend. He said he had a slave who became bed- ridden to the extent he could not even feed himself and the slave became distraught that he could not provide service because he was confined to bed. The Master willingly took care of his slave, but he realized the conflict the slave was experiencing because of his inability to offer service as in the past.  In order to put the slave at ease and to make certain that the slave knew that the dynamic of the M/s relationship had not changed as a result of his illness, the Master spoke these words as he was feeding his slave: “At this moment your service to me is taking this bite of food.” The story resonated with me because it brought into focus my belief that with complete ownership comes complete responsibility.

Now on to reality. All you need to know about slave marsha’s initial mindset around her incapacity is summed up in one sentence from her recent post about her surgery:

I'm living in a slave’s ultimate nightmare where the tables are turned, my Owner and my Butch Daddy do all the work and I… do… nothing.

What she described in her post was no exaggeration – it was quite accurate. I made a daybed for her on the sectional sofa in the second floor family room of my home.  It was a perfect place because one end of the sofa extends into a chaise lounge. Prior to her surgery, she and Cougar purchased new, 700 thread count sheets for her day bed. I put up a long, rectangular table at the arm of the sofa for meds, books, and assorted other essentials and purchased a standing tray for meals. I also made sure that we had plenty of movies to watch.   So that became her home base for three weeks.  During that time she was served a hot breakfast and lunch on a tray, dinners were cooked for her, and drinks were provided when she needed them.   She was on medical leave from work.  She did no chores around the house.   She read, napped a lot, and watched many movies to pass the time.  She did not even work on South Plains during this time. (Well, maybe once.)   Fresh linens were put on her daybed every two days and her home base was kept clean and neat, except for an occasional lapse by the housekeeping staff (read Master Jim).

So then is it correct to say that slave marsha took three weeks off from providing service, from being who she is, from being a slave? Of course not! slave marsha was doing exactly what I ordered her to do. she was being completely obedient to me and by doing so she was, as always, providing the service that I requested even if it was not the service that she wanted or expected to provide.

But what about me? I have said many times in presentations and discussions that I embrace the relationship between complete ownership and complete responsibility. I have always felt that if the time ever came, I could and would do whatever was necessary to take care of my property. As most of us know, when one makes a statement like that, the universe, at some point, will provide the opportunity to see if your actions will match your words. In this case I think I passed muster. I took care of my slave and …dare I say this and risk getting kicked out of the Masters’ Club…I enjoyed doing it. While it was my responsibility to care for her, I did it not only because it was my obligation, but because I wanted to do it. I am thankful that she continues her recovery, but I am not thankful from the “damn, I’m sure glad that’s over and now we can get back to normal” perspective. I am thankful because my property is healing and because I need and want her by my side -- or more precisely one-half step behind me on my right.

The M/s relationship I have with slave marsha is built on my philosophy of direction, discipline, and service. The dynamics of the relationship are enhanced through rituals, protocols, and expected service. Yet what this period of my slave being incapacitated demonstrates, at least for this M/s pair, is that the M/s relationship and dynamic supersede everything else. If the bond is strong and the foundation and structure of the M/s relation sound, then the Master can be served and the slave can obey even when the world seems upside down and the sign reads:

This slave is temporarily out of service.

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Serving When You Can't Serve

From time to time over the past 13 years or so that I’ve been privileged to teach in the Master/slave community, slaves have asked me:

“What do you do when you physically can’t serve your Owner? When you’re useless as a slave?”

My answer has always been the same, something along the lines of, “You aren’t useless, you serve in those ways you can, even if it’s just obeying an order to take care of yourself.” But honestly – I really had no experience on which to base that answer. I’ve been fortunate to be generally quite healthy over my 14 years in service. Other than the occasional respiratory infection, a wisdom tooth removal and a couple of minor foot surgeries, I haven’t had an illness or medical condition that really sidelined me as a slave.

Until now.

For a number of reasons, earlier this year, it was decided that I needed to undergo a total hysterectomy. Like almost all women, I had a general understanding of that surgery, but I also (like many people) figured that with advances in laparoscopic surgery, a hysterectomy these days was probably a pretty “simple” procedure with a relatively fast recovery, maybe a few days.

I quickly learned exactly how wrong I was.

I’ll spare you the gory and/or boring details, so suffice it to say that even with modern surgical techniques, a hysterectomy meant this slave would be home – in bed or on the couch, completely cut off from my work outside of the home, resting, not lifting anything, and generally not being able to be of service – for at least 2-3 weeks. I was told that during that time, I would be very, very tired and that the fatigue would almost certainly continue at least at some level through 6 weeks. I was devastated to learn that even with no complications, it’s not unusual for it to take months – maybe even a year – following this surgery before a woman feels back to “normal.”

Holy service withdrawal, Batman!

So here I am, in week 2 following my surgery, learning whether or not the answer I’ve given to so many slaves was right – that really I’m not useless, and I’m serving even when I’m not by following my Owner’s order to help take care of his property.

Let me tell you what my life is like right now. Because I am supposed to limit the number of times I go up and down stairs for the first few weeks, my breakfast is delivered on a tray to my “home base” on the couch in the upstairs family room – BY MY OWNER. Lunch arrives the same way. I am allowed to venture downstairs to the table for dinner. When I’m thirsty, either my Owner or Cougar brings me something to drink. They fetch movies for my entertainment. The two of them have taken on every household chore. I'm living in a slave’s ultimate nightmare where the tables are turned, my Owner and my Butch Daddy do all the work and I… do… nothing.


I serve.

I do serve.

And that has been the one blazing, wonderful light at the heart of this topsy-turvy world I’m living in. Because I have learned, in the hardest way possible, that I’ve been giving the right answer to all of those slaves all along.
Service is not about doing what I want. It’s not about doing what I think is the “slave-like” thing to do. It’s not about out-serving any other slave out there, or comparing myself to anyone else in any way. Instead, it’s about doing what my Owner desires me to do, whether that’s bringing him a drink, or working outside of the home, or bottoming to heavy SM. Or even… serving by accepting with grace the service provided by my Owner and Cougar while I heal, so that in the (hopefully) near future, I’ll be able to serve again in all of those other ways.

By letting go of all of the things I think service should be, I’m learning (slowly) the lesson that sometimes serving with grace looks like a slave is not serving at all.

But an Owner knows the truth. Service is what the Owner says it is. Not the slave.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the couch is calling my name… with another opportunity to serve.

In service,
slave marsha

(P.S. -- I've asked Master Jim to write about this experience from his perspective, so stay tuned....)
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Meet slave marsha in Cyberspace -- July 13, 2010

From slave marsha:

I've been invited by Master Black Zeus to present an online seminar on July 13, 2010, beginning at 8:00 pm Central time.  My topic will be:

This Could Be Heaven or This Could Be Hell:  What It's Really Like to Live as a Slave

So you think you want to be a slave?  Do you think it's all about hot sex, hot scenes and good times?  Do you think you'll be naked and chained 24/7?  Or have you just always wondered what these people who live as slaves do all day?  Join slave marsha, International slave 2001, who has served for more than 13 years in a Master/slave relationship, as she talks about the good, the bad, the ugly and the glorious life of a 24/7 slave.

 The seminar will be held in an on line conference room with live audio (and the ever popular PowerPoint presentation).  You can ask questions (if you have a mic) or type them (if you don't).  You can find the conference room at -- enter the website and then click on the link to the left that says "BZ Conference."  The conference room password is on the website.  
The conference room isn't difficult to navigate, but if you like, you can drop by some time before the conference to get familiar with how it works.

I hope you'll join me on July 13th!
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(no subject)


The comments below were written to honor and commemorate the 12 year anniversary of the Master/slave relationship between myself and slave marsha.

I am writing this in honor and remembrance of the 12th anniversary of our Master/slave relationship.  I first thought that I would compile and annotate the highlights of the past 12 years, as well as the years before May 1, 1997. By bringing together the important dates and events, I would have created a history (to date) of the M/s relationship that exists between us. After reflecting on that approach, two things occurred to me that encouraged a different direction. First, how can one identify the important events when, in fact, each moment we have travelled together as a Master and slave is important? The reality is that the everyday occurrences that matter the most might never make the top 50 or 100 list of highlights. Second, while compiling a written or oral history of our relationship might be an excellent project at some point, highlighting our history and, thus, focusing on the past did not seem to be the most appropriate way to commemorate this day.  History is just that -- history.  There is no question that we have learned from and have been enriched by our experiences of the past 12 years. Certainly, the lessons learned by trial and error, the problems faced and overcome, or in some cases simply faced, the tooth and nail struggles to gain a hard fought inch, the fear and loneliness faced in the darkest hours of the night, and the tears shed, both yours and mine, coupled with the celebrations, the rituals, the laughter, the insights, the growth and change, the euphoria, and the rapture of these past 12 years have combined to form the foundation of this relationship. However, while I definitely recognize the importance of the past and the hard and dangerous work that has brought us to this point, the past, while not to be forgotten, is indeed the past and it now time to celebrate the present.


Ironically, shifting to a recognition and celebration of the present has its tap root deep in the past. A tap root that goes all the way back to that night many years ago when you floated a question into the electronic universe of cyberspace… you asked “what is this thing called submission?” That simple question – what is this thing called submission – remains the most relevant, defining, and present-oriented inquiry available to us.  The night you posed the question and the days and months that followed were filled with discussions and debates. As we continued to interact we ever so slowly began to live the question and as we moved on the question broadened to focus on Mastery and slavery and its many associate issues. Today we are still, as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke says living and experiencing the questions.  Putting aside the fact that we know a bit more about what we are doing than we did 12 years ago, that a philosophy and codes of ethics have been developed and are in place, and that important tools such as protocols and the “work” are used, in the final analysis we are still living the basic question, although the terms have changed – what is this thing called Mastery and slavery?


On this our 12 year anniversary  can we gift ourselves with an answer? I think not. Will there ever be a definite answer? Probably not. The question you first posed seems to be essential and eternal. It is a question that goes beyond the outer shell of personality and the inner barrier of ego. It is a question that goes to the very core of who we and what we are.  Although I do not believe we have arrived at the answer, I do believe we are closer to it. Yet as close as we may be, the irony, or reality, here is that the answer is not what is important. Rather, what is important is living the life of mastery and slavery, following our path, celebrating who and what we are, stepping closer and closer to the core of M/s, and living on the razor’s edge of now…on the edge…edgeliving. The past then is nothing compared to this present moment and all the present moments to come.


The future cannot be predicted except to know that the only constant and certainty is change.  It is my belief that our relationship will continue to grow and evolve just as it has done over the past 12 years, only now the evolution includes three and not just two.  What I do offer in remembrance of this anniversary is the same response I gave someone in the Dallas Eagle one night many years ago when he asked me what he could to do be a good boy for a potential Master or Daddy. I put my hand over his heart, looked him in the eye and said simply … “be the boy.”   That statement, I believe, rings very true today. I must be the Master and you must be the slave. It is as simple and complex as that. We must live who and what we are in all aspects of our lives. We must experience the pains, problems, pleasures, and joys of being a Master and a slave. We must follow the advice of Rilke: 


I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.


Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
Letters to a Young Poet


One day slave marsha, one day far in the future we may live our way into the answer, but until then you are my slave and I am your Master and for that I am grateful.


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SPLF Early Registration Incentive -- Act Now!!

You've already heard about all the great benefits that go with the $99 Early Registration for South Plains Leatherfest 2010--

A full SM/Leather Seminar Track
A full Master/slave Seminar Track
Friday Night Opening Festivities
The International Master/slave Contest
Fabulous shopping in the Vendor Area

But for the next 50 SPLF 2010 registrants, there's even more -- a chance to win a free Play Party Package valued at $20!  This package gets you into all the hot action brought to you by Team Dungeon, including a 5,000 square foot play area with separate men only, women only and pansexual space!

How do you qualify?  Just be one of the next 50 registrants at and if your name is drawn by one of our highly qualified Giveaway Specialists (also know as the SPLF Owners), you'll be notified by email that you're the winner!  If you're planning to buy a Play Party Package no matter what, go ahead -- if you're the winner, we'll refund your money!  While you're there, don't forget to purchase your ticket for the Sunday Brunch, featuring keynote speaker Mark Frazier!

So don't wait -- register today and you might be a winner!

(Please cross-post as appropriate)
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On Obedience

"I do not obey you because it is a habit and I cannot think for myself; I do it because you are worthy of being obeyed.  You... would not ask me to do something dangerous... without cause."

"No, not without cause," Laurence said.  "But we are in a hard service, and we must sometimes be willing to bear a great deal."

"Her Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik

(continuing to prove that inspiration for M/s relationships can be found in the strangest places....)
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When Master Jim is engaging in an especially hard scene with me, I use a mantra to help my focus.  It goes like this:

I call on the spirits of the slaves who've gone before me to give me courage.
I call on the spirits of the slaves who've gone before me to give me strength.
I call on the spirits of the slaves who've gone before me to give me endurance.
I call on the spirits of  the slaves who've gone before me to give me grace.

Grace.  Yes, grace most of all.  Let me serve with grace.

Recently, I found a short piece of writing that perfectly explains that grace I so want to achieve.  I don't know who the author is, but he or she should have been a slave.  *smile*

How you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain.  And, so it is with life, which for many of us becomes one big gigantic lesson.  In the end, it all comes down to one word:  grace.  It's how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light.

Yes.  Oh yes.  Because in slavery, there will be climbing the mountain and coming back down.  There will be lesson after lesson.  There will be light... and, never doubt it, there will be darkness.

Through it all, grace.

I call on the spirits of the slaves who've gone before me to give me grace.