*photograph from private archive
I don’t know what and when
It is all hidden in my pen
Memories of forgotten days
are mixed with fears
of future’s ways
And even if the sun shines bright
I might not realize that it’s light
The darkness just like fire spreads
The night is glowing cold, the black I dread
This is the story of my plight
A mind so bent a crumbled string looks straight
Nothing, clueless, lost, I wait
Sometimes my dreams dream that I elevate
another force inside then subjugates
I’m told my worries are man made
The coffee cold, unshaven, and the purse deplete
A worn old shirt that screams of ironing that it needs
A figure sculpted by the thoughts the mind conjures
and by all events that life endures
Continuously I seek and seek
In this reality the hundred meters that I see
must stretch out of necessity
beyond that mark towards my ecstasy
unless I cannot choose my destiny
But, how then could I be me
Why am I stuck as if I’m planted like a tree
Forever in one place, I cannot flee
When I was born what words were put into my crib
“Go sail the seas but finally we sink your ship”
In the clouds I want to be eternally
A told me that I should be B
C told me that I should be D
Eventually then when I was E
They screamed and said I must be G
I turned around and went to P
Flashed them a sign reversed the T
Now I’m the Cuban Susans Whoman He
Nothing, clueless, lost without a key
I am sinking in some sea
To the water I will eventually return
Humans decided that I needed to burn
So hot even my soul in smoke evaporates
Escaping from these dire straits
I will not be put behind some other gates
Spill me, let me take another turn
I didn’t know it then but when I was a young boy I had immense freedom:
I was free of worry because everything I required was taken care of;
I lived in a quiet place on a hill, away from the city, with nature at my door and neighbours far away;
I spent time outside, – not inside exploring some technological wonder like an iPhone or TV or such, because we had none of that, bar an old crackly valve radio;
There was peace in my life, others around me made sure of that and shielded me as much as possible from the turbulence of life and its tragedies.
As I grew up Freedom retained its core importance in my life. It took on new facets like responsibility and conscience. It wasn’t always easy to be free as life got busy. Often it felt that the default was being ‘not free.’
From having had immense freedom, pure freedom, freedom to be myself within a very loose framework of upbringing, every ounce of that freedom now had to be fought for.
My deep love for Freedom has been a guiding thread all my life. When I felt as if something was encroaching on my freedom I would deal with it. That voice of Freedom inside me would become quite loud and demanding. Like when I took stuff I should have rather left alone. Or when I felt the roof was caving in over my head and I had to escape.
But, even the voice of Freedom must have gotten tired along the way because another voice far cleverer, knowing everything much better, assumed governance over my affairs. It used something called logic. Not logics logic, but my super-logic, and my super-logic stipulated that if something makes money then Freedom is out of the equation. That ‘it’ was of course my ‘brilliant’ mind. For a while it even seemed to really be brilliant. The reason for that deduction was simple. Money gave ‘freedom.’ However on closer inspection the ‘more money’ actually led me to mortgage my freedom in return. In my flawed business model of life the more I wanted the greater my dedication to being a prostitute in my business became. One side effect was that I built up this non-caring, ‘mercenary’ attitude as long as it served my purpose. It also created an unbearable discomfort in the background. Freedom never actually gave up its claim over me. It was so deeply engrained from early on that it was part of me. My craving for freedom grew proportionately to the amount I ignored it. It expressed its desire to be acknowledged by stepping on its own accelerator and that had the label of ‘extreme’ pasted over it. Oh boy, now I was in for a ride and a half as that desire sought fulfilment in adventure. Naturally drawn towards adventure in any case, Freedom knew exactly what buttons to press. These buttons did not come cheap either and so a cycle started that eventually had to find an exit point.
To be free is my natural way of being. I shouldn’t even have to insist on it. My spirit wants to soar and has to be free to maintain sanity. But how do I regain that freedom from that ball and chain around my spirit?
The answer as always is simple. The path to the answer however was a maze. Determined to find one, even despair was no permanent obstruction for Freedom to triumph.
I looked at the issues that bother and burden me: like an ex that did something or my fasting bank account. Then I go and meditate, creating the picture of the issues to the vision of the thought, “I am free.” Now I did it. I said it. I declared my intent and I might have to reiterate once or twice but the issues have been shown the door.
Whatever it is that obstructs the very core of myself to function as per ‘design,’ it needs to be exposed. In the process it helps to be honest with myself.
To me the question not to forget is, “What would Freedom say?”
I was a dove.
A white dove flying through a dark valley on the edge of my memory. The silhouette of my past abruptly ended with the light of the horizon of my future.
My journey was from the narrow shadow land towards the blue sky of my freedom.
I flew. That is all I ever knew how to do. My flying was like your walking. But I had to fly, I could not walk.
All I had to do to fly was breathe. With every breath I stayed aloft another time. That’s all it took.
First there was hardly any light at all as the valley walls towered above me and I was dwarfed by their rugged strength and enormous presence.
Beyond, it seemed, was more darkness with faint lights so distant I feared never to touch them.
As I sat and watched I remembered a time gone by that was even darker than no lights or sunshine.
I felt the break of dawn.
A clear line was emerging between my past and the present, unfolding with every breath.
My spirit lifted. My soul prepared for flight. My body breathed a deep breath and floated into nothing.
Slowly, the little dot that I was, gained height and I flew in the ‘V’ of the valley towards a light that magically attracted me.
I knew not what was beyond the ‘V’ but light, and the only way to get there was for me to fly.
I took a deep breath of imagination and cleared the rim of the valley into the blue nothing.
Suddenly there were no walls, no cliffs and no more ‘V’ that I had to carefully navigate in.
For the first time I could fly unobstructed as I left the valley behind.
I filled my head with golden views. I breathed the air of infinite beauty. I soared and dived and tumbled. I floated, rose and merged with all of nothing.
I knew suddenly that my breath was everywhere and I was in every breath.