So February 10th marked four years in Dynamic for me and my wife/property.
Given the title of this post, maybe I should point out that this doesn’t mark four years in collar (that’ll be May 7th, 2015), and we don’t actually have a contract, per se. The gyst of it is: “Ghost takes care of Ms Syren. And Vice Versa.” And we just sort of take it from there.
Regardless, she signed on for another 40 years, which sounds pretty good to me.
So… other than going “Squee!” about the whole situation, why am I bringing this up? (Okay, I admit it, it was mostly about the Squee). My question is: what do you do with a dynamic like this? How do you deepen it? It still feels… weird? Presumptuous? To be thinking “How do I want to focus my property’s development this year?” but I’m still doing it. It’s still my responsibility to do it.
I look at people who’ve been in dynamic for twenty and thirty years, and I have no idea what that looks like from the inside. Do you just keep claiming more and more of your territory? I keep reaching for the metaphor of cultivation – rather than that of, say, teaching someone new tricks. Where do we go from here?
It would be so easy to finish right here, to say “I guess we’ll find out” as if that were some kind of a Really Profound Statement. And it’s not like we won’t find out, over time, as our dynamic continues to develop. But I’d like to have some kind of a concrete plan for what direction to take.
As it stands, I find myself casting around for a focus-point. Like, “This is the direction we’re going to work on this year”. Given how things are going already, I’m guessing that this is going to be a year of “spiritual stuff” (for lack of a more appropriate catch-all). And part of that’s me, because that’s where I want to focus my energies so, hey, why not focus hers there, too? But that’s not all of it. Where do we go from here? I guess we’ll find out.
Okay, maybe this is a really bizarre title for a GGBP post, but work with me here. The other night (more than a week ago, now), I went to a dinner that included a number of people in what I think of as my extended poly family. I made the dessert.
Maybe in a more conventially-structured family, I’d look at this kind of an evening as “getting together with friends”. But some of those friends are my wife’s other partners, which makes them more than friends. Some of them are related by leather ties rather than ties of “blood or alliance” (as we like to say in Anthropology Kinship Diagrams). Some are both.
In these small, fringe communities (the queers, the perverts) we are fairly used to (re-)building family from scratch, and – because our communities tend to be small – we frequently wind up being “exes in law” or whatever with just about everybody we know. Throw polyamoury and the amicable disolution/redefinition of power dynamics (like when someone goes from being So-and-So’s owner to being hir mentor, for example) into the mix, and you wind up with these intersecting familial-relationships that can make a community look like the cosmic web.
And the thing is, this isn’t all that unusual. Any small community – think tiny farming towns, for example – winds up with most families linked to most other families through marriage or cousins or what-have-you. It’s just that, when those interconnections are based around The Fucking (kinky stuff, power-exchanges, sex parties, multiple sweeties… you know, all those things that an up-bringing in Patriarchy doesn’t really prepare you for) rather than around weddings and grandkids, it’s like we forget that there was ever a map at all.
But it’s there.
I have a friend who loves Miss Manners and Emily Post. She loves etiquette books because they basically boil down to answering the question “What do I say if my son brings his gay trans leather-daddy home for the holidays” with “You say: It’s a pleasure to meet you”.
We don’t have to come up with a script from scratch. We just have to addapt what’s already there.
 Although those could argueably be grouped under The Fucking as well…
So. I was at the RHO conference in Toronto last week.
And it was awesome in a zillion different way, and I’ll probably do a write-up about some of it in a bit. BUT I came down from my hotel room and greeted my boss and asked him if he’d gotten up to anything the night before, and I misheard what he said. And this led to some clarification, and then I had to go and write this poem.
You May Know Of Her
My boss came into work this morning
to work this mourning
to work through this
a woman on my street
know of her
you may know of her
you may know of her
I never knew
and then I know
more intimately than I ever earned
in those few words
you may know of her
so let me know of her
this sister whom I never knew
let me know her now
And I wrote it out and I gave it to him later that day, and the next morning he showed me this. I found this on the same blog.
A poet, a creator, a multidisciplinary artits, an activist, a contemporary of other women – Mirha-Soleil Ross, Vivian Namaste – whom I’ve had the honour of meeting, however briefly. I’m sorry I never got to meet Ms MacKay. She sounds quite a bit more than brilliant.
Usually, when I hear about self-care, it’s in a context of “I’m about to hold forth on a potentially-freaky topic in this here blog post, so you may want to excersise some self-care and skip this one”. Meaning that I’m used to seeing it in an individual, rather than an institutional, context. This blog post is a neat one because it explores the ways that “self care” as an institutional policy can be abused. Have a read.