I've heard about you a ton.
But I am not sure if you and I have ever met. Have we?
If we did, it must have been when I was little.
Like, BABY little. Before I was molded into being the 'person' I am today.
Before I was conditioned, educated and indoctrinated.
Before I grew up to have - what we ironically call - a 'mind of my own.'
Freedom, dear, I have yearned for you for years.
As a vague poetic sentiment. As an unachievable dream. As an abstract concept.
And no matter how much I'll feel your presence, I also always feel your absence.
I hear people talk about you, preach about you, protest for you. They blurt out your name with so much confidence! As if you are an old friend they deeply know. As if you are an idea everyone would agree on.
But no one has ever described well to me exactly WHAT you are?
According to good ole' google, you are:
1: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
2: Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
3. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
4. The state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily.
5. The state of not being subject to or affected by a particular undesirable thing.
6. The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
7. Unrestricted use of something.
From these descriptions, I am getting the feeling that you, dear freedom, are a very fleeting state.
One that comes and goes. Probably shows up too fast for anyone to notice and truly appreciate,
and mostly felt when you are taken away.
You, freedom, as other vague notions like you, are most felt in your absence.
The physical notion of you, is a little bit easier for me to grasp. But what about your more... subtle formation? In...say...the 'freedom of thought?' Let's zoom in on that for a second, shall we, freedom?
So, thoughts. Considering our thoughts are a mish-mash of; memories that are mostly imagined and not likely to be most accurate; biases that connect a pattern of thought that seems logical to us; random blurbs that mostly try to frighten us into submission; ego driven judgments and criticism that only help to separate us from others; other random comments on life; and here and there some rare, but brilliant, ideas.
Knowing all that, and that we are constantly lead to thoughts by the environment around us, in the sneakiest ways possible, (Hey, the advertisement industry is based on that principle, and don't even get me started on politics. ouch), knowing all that.... shouldn't 'freedom of thought' be in the absence of thought all together? ?
I honestly have no idea why I am asking YOU that, freedom.
You are doing your thing: being free somewhere, teasing us humans with your existence.
Hey, as you know, you are FREE to do what you will.
And I'll hang out nearby, wondering what you REALLY are: If you do indeed exist, or rather you are just another story us humans have created while playing the game of life.
If you do exist, in all your glory, way beyond those google descriptions, SHOW UP will you?
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman