Music / Real life

Dirty Laundry

Norman Rockwell's "Gossip"

Norman Rockwell’s “Gossip”

There’s always drama to be found. The vanilla world is no different than the kink world in that respect – except perhaps – that in the kink world we are a bit more open with each other, we are more verbal, and well, incestuous. No, not incestuous as in cousin-lovin, but rather we are a smaller pond and there’s a very good chance that the sub you top tonight has been topped by someone you know.

i watch the merry-go-round relationships sometimes… in awe… the speed with which we connect and disconnect. We all have ways of making sense of what we do. i, for instance, distinguish between long-term relationships and play partners. There is the play that comes within my relationships and then there is the play i engage in with friends, acquaintances, and even semi-strangers. i make no judgments, per se, about those who live or play differently than i do, but i am surprised to see the fet statuses change so quickly. i confess, i cannot always keep up with who is doing what to whom. Luckily, i don’t really NEED to keep tabs.

Here’s where it gets tricky, though: i hear things. i’m told things. i see things. That’s all well and good but often the information is given in order to ellicit a response.

Did you hear?

Did you know?

What happened with so-and-so?

OMG… Can you believe what _____ did to _____?

i learned this over the past year: i don’t need to know.

i may WANT to know (i’m human… sometimes drama is exciting).

But, seriously. i do not need to know who-did-what-to-whom-or-why. i do not need to take sides. i do not need to divide and conquer. i find good in damn near every person i meet and i see darkness lurking in many as well. We contain multitudes (nod to Whitman) and chances are, as you stand before me? i like you. There’s something i see in you that is special and meaningful… something that’s worth knowing. i don’t have to dislike the person who hurt you in order to like you. i don’t. i won’t.  Chances are, they feel the same way about you – and i don’t have to dislike you in order to like them, either.

A very important (difficult and ongoing) lesson i’ve learned from Master is this: you are under no obligation to bare anything to the public… no explanations are necessary, no excuses, none of that. No defense is needed – no offense is needed – neither is OWED any of us out here.

We all (hopefully) have safe spaces to curl up in… when needed… trustworthy ears into which to spill our secrets… strong shoulders to lean on – but the habit of hashing things out publicly (on these interwebs or in real life) is sadly too common. It is used to feel righteous justification, or to fuel gossip or simply as a talking point in the absences of anything important to say. It is (cue Shakespeare) full of sound and fury – signifying NOTHING.

So, if you curl up next to me on a couch and you tell me about your pain… that’s your pain. It is not mine. i’ll do my best to support you but i won’t engage in battle with you or for you. i just won’t.  This doesn’t mean that i don’t like/love/support you… quite the contrary… it means that i like you enough to not want to feed your pain – and i love the community enough to not want to cause division where it need not exist. i’d rather spread news of your accomplishments or whisper in someone’s ear about how bloody fantastic you are.

Similarly, if i have a conflict with you, i’m going to do my level best to resolve that with you – i’m not going to rally an army or circle my wagons. If we can’t have a healthy relationship? We won’t have a relationship. I won’t feel compelled to tell everyone why – i won’t ask my friends to avoid you – that’s wasted energy for me and it bears no healthy fruit.

i guess what i’m saying is… life’s short – play nice – i’ll try to do the same.

Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry

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