So far this weekend at the Master/Slave conference…a wonderful panel discussion on being black in the Master / Slave community. A very moving discussion in the “Slaves Only” circle. SO many, many people I’d only known online, with whom I shared space, time and words today. Â A meal with new friends, people who honor me by sharing their thoughts, bearing witness to the m/s dynamic in many permutations. Some that gave me pause, others that touched me deeply, some that made me ache for things I will never have, others that made me so very, very grateful for what I do have.
And we are only at the halfway point…
I know I am very, very fortunate. The people from whom I learned how to do this thing, this Leather, this kink, this BDSM, this power exchange…many of them grew to be my friends. Many of them I can now say are my peers. Â One of them helped me to find the bravery to smash my own barriers and stand and be counted as a woman, as a black woman, as a black woman who is a slave. Â Over the course of my time thus far as a student and learner there are many who taught me in various ways. Viola Johnson taught me before I even knew who she truly was, just by being who she was. I never thought I would ever be able to thank her in person. Â But I did. I never thought sheÂ wouldÂ know me by name. But she does. And I can say I truly never, ever thought I would stand and hear the blessing, the benediction, the affirmation that she provided me today.
Yes, thousands of people can give you thousands of compliments, orÂ evenÂ say the same thing over and over. Your heart can shy away from these, stunted by anÂ embarrassmentÂ of riches. However today, I found myself face-to-face with an affirmation that stopped me up short. SO much so I couldn’t even plumb the true depth of the moment. Only now, hours later, can I sit back and say “You have been charged with a great responsibility. Someone has called you out. You have to step up to the plate, and actually fully be who you are.”Â
Vi, you shook me to the core today, and knocked down the lingering shadows standing between me and my calling. Â I don’t know what lies ahead. I think IÂ stammered uncertainties when you laid this out for me today. You wont be surprised to know that my higher power took me aside later and had a rather stern Oops Upside Your Nappy Head moment with me. See, Ganesha is theÂ removerÂ of obstacles. Â And through your words, you have quietly pulled away a layer of self, a defensive, scared, Â uncertain layer. One I no longer need. Â One that I promise you I will no longer let live in my heart. I’m taking it off of my heart, and setting it aside, with a moment of respectful silence for its passing.
Thanks to your gathering us together, I saw myself reflected in the faces of other slaves. I wasÂ privilegedÂ to learn of the impact I have had on the lives of others. I was staggered to learn that, because I shared my story, someone else had the bravery to share theirs, and now an abuser sits in jail. You birthed this moment. Â I am still wide-eyed in awe at how powerful, how so very powerful are those of us who embrace our need to love, to obey, to serve.
I am embracing mine. Â BecauseÂ I am ready. To be present, to be front and center. To carry the unbearable lightness of being, as KunderaÂ wouldÂ say. And to walk this path.