29 January 2009
25 January 2009
"Let freedom ring" exists as a magnum opus of fourteen letters, a pièce de résistance constitutionally voiced in momentous speeches, and still, breathed into barren hope by mortal souls in bondage. "Let freedom ring!" remains the blazing outcry bellowing from the unrelenting lungs of freedom fighters.
Gallant men and women, grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters, have long pursued freedom, to abolish the binds of slavery, segregation and injustice.
In the present, most of us reside in countries that have been declared free to themselves, and still, there surely has been unrest, and an unsettling notion that often we do not feel free at all.
Perhaps, it is not so much that we, as human beings, desire to be free, but to feel free.
We have combed through plans of positions, trailing the ghost-like lines of others who look to be free. At times, we even shadow the behavior of those who seem to us to be most free.
Freedom though, is perhaps not to be found as much in physical places, but in internal discretion. We are, and always have been, free to practice love, if not always externally; free to be compassionate, kindhearted, and intimate in feeling; we are free to forgive, to resist hatred and grudges; we are free to be alone and autonomous in our minds, to think independently; free to hope.
Dwight D. Eisenhower knowingly said, "We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom." To be at peace with ourselves, is to be free. Peace breathes life into freedom, as freedom gives way to peace.
To be at peace, does not require the unabridged communion, and entire peace of a community, of all that surrounds, but that we embrace harmony with our given circumstances, in satisfaction and in struggle.
Three sunrises ago, I found myself gingerly navigating my battered, stormy '93 Volvo, through a ribbon of back road, absently listening to the scraggly sound of my radio through the awning of organic green. I don't know why I was on the road, still gently propelling the accelerator around half-moon curves, threading my vehicle through the wilderness. I didn't have a destination, just the impression that I didn't want to stop from going somewhere, anywhere.
I cranked my window down, the icy air knifing at my cheek, the wind splintering my hair into partitions that ascended on the winter air like silk kites. Ahead a bridge imperiously rose out of trees feathered with frost, and there on that unchristened bridge, with water beneath my tires, endlessly cascading, twinkling in sun beams, like dreams, I found the conscience of freedom, imminent in my soul.
We may never see the day of omnipotent physical freedom, but I hope that all may ascertain the internal freedom that can set one free, and deliver a most fragrant, lasting peace. Then perhaps, in a symbolic bridge across rugged land, luminous seas, through stretching skies; regardless of color, of culture, of age, history and future, we can borrow the momentous words that Martin Luther King Jr. closed his celebrated speech, "I Have A Dream", with: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Are you free? Do you feel free? Where do you believe freedom is found? Do you think freedom is available to all; are we born with it, or must we find it? If there is a physical place you feel exceptionally free in, what about that place makes you feel free? Other thoughts?
Special thanks: The photos featured in this entry are courtesy of photographer Mirjan van der Meer whose photographic work I've found to be a most intimate portrait of human spirit, free of detachment, emotive, and stirring, her still frames unedited sentiments, and admirably sincere. Visit the links listed below (following "photo credits") to view more of Mirjan's body of work.
Title Quote: Jean-Paul Sartre
Photo Credits: Photographer Mirjan van der Meer, www.rooze.deviantart.com & www.flickr.com/photos/rooze.
07 January 2009
This morning, at thirty six minutes after ten o’clock, I changed my life with a firecracker-like initiation of reckless ambition. I did what my parents unwaveringly warned me against, what, I even doubted, I’d ever have the nerve to do. I staked my life in a risk; I just quit my job, without even a solitary prospect of another position of employment, and I'm going after my dreams.
Just like that, I gambled any security of my well-being, granting my former company two weeks’ notice, and leaving myself fourteen brief days, less than three hundred and thirty six hours, to arrange a move to New York City.
Today, I breathe in and out, in the same way as I did as a kid riding my bike without handlebars, the biting teeth of gravel and stone gliding beneath me, waiting for me to plunge, to fall, and still, the delicate consciousness of the wind lacing through my hair, the blood pulsing past my ears, my heart hammering with adrenaline, tender against my ribcage.
I arrived here, to this moment now, through a burning longing for a life more gratifying than this; with a captivating book, “A Night Train To Lisbon”, whose key character does precisely what I’m about to; an audacious new year’s resolution, and on the grounds that I have written to you before, and again, about taking risk. I would be but a fraud to advise a life of risk, if I was not courageous enough to lay it all on the line myself.
I feel out of my mind, I have always suspected that I am insane, perhaps, and I suppose I am only following in the pattern of irresponsibility, irrationality, my parents have always held against me. If only they understood my recklessness is dependently born from inherent passion and ambition, that I want to give all that I have, with all of my heart, to raise every soul up, to provide hope for humanity, that I’m not afraid to lose my life out on a limb.
The moment is surreal, I feel as if I drift, in a suspension of sleep, on the verge of awakening, to see with tired eyes that life has the same familiar rhythm, as it did before. My eyes are open though, and I'm about to leave behind all I've ever kept, all I've ever known, thus far.
I can't believe I am the one who just quit her job, spur of the moment, and who in two weeks, proposes to take the night train to New York. To travel away, settled between the pace of the train, the vastness of liberty, and velvet sky.
Goodbye sanctuary, goodbye humdrum days. Hello, escapade.
I know now, that I must let go, to grab something else, and I'm taking my first piece of this immense, ruthless, beautiful world. I'm grabbing life by the horns, danger and all, no matter what becomes of it...
If you could do anything, have anything in your life, right now, what would that be? Whenever you are right now, both figuratively and literally, is it where you want to be? Other thoughts?
P.S. Not to beg, but know of any specific job opportunities in NYC, or have any ideas? I'm looking, since I may need something standard until I can launch my dreams...Any assistance, advice would be greatly appreciated.
Title Quote: Unknown
Picture Credits: Photographer Erika Svensson: http://erikasvensson.com, and photographers from http://ungeheuer.deviantart.com, http://haikman.deviantart.com, and http://mumbojumbo89.deviantart.com.