Smutober Day 5 ~ Mastery, Walt Whitman, and Leaves of Grass
Whitman influenced me greatly. He could be called my spiritual father.
If you are an American, then Walt Whitman is your imaginative father and mother, even if, like myself, you have never composed a line of verse.Harold Bloom
steel engraving of Walt Whitman in his 30s from the first edition of Leaves of Grass
Whitman and Mastery
I hope by now, any existing readers of Michael’s Way understand my love of quotes.
Collecting quotes from my readings has been part of my personal path to “Mastery”. How I define that word may be significantly different than the path other dominants take. And, to my mind, that’s a good thing.
There is no such thing as a “cookie cutter dominant”, we all must seek our own paths on the road to Mastery. To me, being a Master includes far more than knowing how to use a flogger or whip, learning shibari, or developing skills for other types of kinky fuckery.
Mastery is a lifelong path. It’s about learning and growing as an individual, and as a leader.
The vision I have for my own personal Mastery is to grow into a sort of leather-clad Rennaissance man, always ready with wisdom, a quote, or song to share.
If you’ve read Frank Herbert’s Dune series, picture Gurney Halleck in today’s world… (Sinnjara says I’m far more handsome than Gurney, but she’s quite prejudiced.)
Portrait of Whitman by Thomas Eakins
With that in mind, for today’s Smutober entry, I’m sharing quotes from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
It’s a book that’s rather infamous in my mind, as a copy of the book was gifted to Monica Lewinsky by President Bill Clinton. Regardless of what you think of Clinton, like him or hate him based on his morality, there’s really no denying that the man is well educated, well spoken, and charismatic.
Leaves of Grass was part of Monica’s seduction. So, to my way of thinking, it may also prove seductive enough to provide a nice helping of food for thought for you too, my dear reader…
This is what you should do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men … re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.Walt Whitman
Quotes from Leaves of Grass
“Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning – I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade—this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion?”
I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.