"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Monday, January 26, 2004
Chains of Gossamer
(This is this week's Blogger Idol entry. The subject that was chosen for this week's entries was "Freedom.")
slave Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sclave, from Old French or Medieval Latin; Old French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe
1 : a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2 : one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
3 : What we all are, whether we know it or not
Let's dig into the concept of freedom for a few minutes, shall we?
To understand the full meaning of something, we must first know its opposite. So what is the opposite of freedom? Is it slavery? The common answer would be yes, that slavery would be the obvious counterpoint to freedom. But that's not it at all.
Look at me, can you not see my chains, floating gossamer in the breeze?
Rather, the opposite of freedom is anarchy and disorder.
Each of us is bound and held captive in some way or another. Our captivity takes many forms. Sometimes, it is that we have allowed someone else to entrap us. Other times, we have gladly taken on the chains that we wear. Still other times, chains have been temporarily forced on us and we will fight and tear at them until they break into pieces and we escape to a better captivity.
But there will always be chains.
See my chains, well worn and golden throughout, gleaming bright like sunrise over the ocean.
Some chains weigh us more than others. Chains that we did not choose weigh on us like mountains of desparation and resolve, or sometimes just floods of dispair. We never intend to stay bound by such chains, but it takes courage to break them, courage that may be hard to come by.
On the other hand, the chains that bind us most, weigh us least. We willingly embrace them like a homecoming.
When we choose our chains, that is true freedom, for that is the only real choice we will ever have in life.
See my locks and keys, made of love and light and hope.
I am free, because I have chosen my chains for myself.
My life, circumscribed.
What price for my chains? What price have I paid? Every link a treasure, no burden to carry.
I draw the borders and boundaries around my life, and free myself from the chains of others and from those who would enslave me. Only I will choose my Master, and thus I will be free.
The chains I wear will be chains of gossamer, light and binding and my own.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.
William Blake (1757 - 1827)