Just Jot it January, 2019: January 6
“Your prompt for JusJoJan 2019, January 6th is brought to you by Sadje. Click here to find her last post and say hi while you’re there! Sadje’s word for our prompt today is “master.” Use it anywhere in your post or make it the theme of your post. Enjoy!” (https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/06/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-6th/) Except, of course, NOT one-liner Wednesday for me because these Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).
Well, I gave you a bit of a linguistic lesson and rant yesterday, so I won’t be as ranty or educational today. It is Sunday, after all. But, thinking about the word “master”, without looking it up or anything, there is a meaning that comes to mind around ownership. Whether you are a master for a dog (not a cat…never a cat…) or mastering some skill (owning it, as it were). Let’s look at these.
Yes, for dogs we have masters. Horses have riders. But I suppose you can master a horse (well, I’m not a rider, but I’ve read this somewhere, so maybe this is not entirely accurate). I don’t know if you are the master of a bird or a gerbil, or a cow or a chicken. Then there are inanimate objects. You can be called the “master” of the house. However, there is still the implication of a “master” in this sense being male. Master and Mistress (or Missus) being the gender-biased terms. You can’t escape the embedded gender bias in terms like this, at least not yet. Maybe someday. Like the word “he”, which some people say is “gender neutral”. Nope. It isn’t. But, I digress (and begin to move into another linguistic debate we probably don’t want to fall into). Master of the house. But Master of the car? The boat – well, I guess I have heard that one. Ok. It’s hit and miss.
Now we come to the verbal form – to master something. Yeah, right. What does this even mean? Is perfection implied when we talk about mastery? Probably for many people. But as I do not believe in perfection (being hopelessly flawed myself), it follows, for me, that I don’t believe you can even master something, like photography or math or downward facing dog. There is always room for improvement. Now, if mastering something to you means being able to do it without too much effort, like running 5K, well I can accept that. You can always work towards running that 5K faster, but running it alone might be a kind of mastery. A pretty good one, if you ask me as someone who is hoping to get back to running 5Ks this year.
In the end, I don’t really want to be a “master” of anyone or anything. Nor do I want to be on the receiving end of mastership (which sometimes is a problem when you work for a hierarchical organization). Which causes a bit of a conundrum, having cats (no, I don’t master them, but I’m pretty sure they master me!)