Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Freedom!!


"FREEDOMMMM!!!" cries William Wallace and his army of Scotsmen in Braveheart, defending their land and their lives.

I find the blood and sword-clashing mayhem in the movie hard to watch, but I resonate with its theme. In my life to this date, I would say freedom has been the strongest desire of my soul. From long solitary walks across field and woods as a child, to my love of airplanes as a teen, to the pull of the open road today, I want to be free. The tie-downs of modern society wear me out, maybe more than most.
Part of my struggle with teaching has been the rigidity, the insistence, the bells and the deadlines and the slavish consistency that goes into making the whole thing work. Some may think we do better in the idealistic conditions of measured hours, measured assignments, measured paces along clean floors, but I beg to differ. It does work, but it's a soul-killing business. At least for me. How do we train free, independent, deep-thinking young men and women by making them ask to use the bathroom all day long? And we wonder why they don't know their own minds when they get out of high school? Hmmm. I wonder why we all want to live in little boxes in little mazes with bells and line-ups for the rest of our miserable lives. Lab rats, all!

Ok I admit that is a bit extreme. My personal views on schooling are skewed a bit left of center, that's the truth. Let's leave this particular soapbox for now.

"You cannot parcel out freedom in pieces because freedom is all or nothing." -Tertullian 
"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul." - Moshe Dayan
I love to see a motorcycle at the gas station. The heady smell of leather and exhaust makes my head spin. Though I don't ride, the image of a motorcycle heading down the highway is one of freedom. A child in a field of flowers, like Heidi with the goats in the mountains, is freedom. A jet leaving a high ribbon of white against the blue is freedom. Horses running, powerful and beautiful - free.


What images evoke the word 'free' for you?

     .......camping in the wilderness
     .......mountains
     .......travel far away
     .......a cup of coffee alone with a book in a quiet cafĂ©
     .......the call of a loon across the lake


I believe all people desire freedom. For some it is just a quiet house and room to breathe, for others it's a chance to do what they love. What binds us?
Necessity, and need.
Fear.
Expectation.
Things we own, that own us.

"Freedom lies in being bold." - Robert Frost
Music makes people feel free; it is a freedom in the mind. The same task that would be done as drudgery can be accomplished with spirit and ingenuity to the beat of a favorite song. Saying what we think is a type of freedom which we generally deny ourselves as we get older. We become wise, we say, but in reality the price exacted for speaking we are no longer willing to pay. Wisdom is born of experience and is more often cynicism's child than insight's.
What I'm saying is we call ourselves wise when we are really just careful - careful not to expose ourselves to any blame or hurt. Self-preservation at the expense of everything else.

I am trying to be more bold, like I was in younger days. The straining toward freedom cannot be fully realized here, on earth, though we can live with more boldness and passion.
"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask." - Jim Morrison

Oh Jim Morrison I wish you were alive, and we could talk! You said it well. What I know of your life, however, is a travesty of freedom taken too far. Your wild and insatiable appetite for it made rock legend. To die at age 27 from drug and alcohol abuse...this is not freedom.
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty." - Frank Herbert
I think you're on to something there, Frank, though your name I do not know.
Those who express themselves with reckless abandon burn themselves out like comets or meteors entering the atmosphere of earth. A bright and searing light, then emptiness. And so freedom has its dangerous edge. But I still long for it.

If you see a woman with a face painted blue shouting "freedoomm!!" in the grocery store parking lot, that's me, and I've gone too far.

"Freedom is the only law which genius knows."                        - James Russell Lowell


 
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4 comments:

  1. There's always homeschooling to fix the education problems. ;-)

    Good thoughts, Pam. I wonder, though, what happens if we frame the argument in terms of "When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed"? I don't know what the answer is and I have to confess that straining for freedom is not something I think about very often but it would be an interesting discussion.

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    1. Yes, definitely. I believe we are designed to be more free, but not sure how it is possible here, in the world as we know it...or as we've made it, anyway. I hope to take the theme "to the next level" in a future blog and examine freedom as a believer in Jesus.

      Homeschooling does have the capacity to fix some problems, I concur. :)

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  2. Thought-provoking as usual, Pam! This post brought to mind the line from an Indigo Girls song that says, "The closer I'm bound in love to you, the closer I am to free." Of course they're talking about a human relationship, but I found it to be quite true of my relationship with God.

    I have experienced great freedom in recent years in my spiritual life - challenging and questioning aspects of my beliefs that I had accepted without thinking, or that I was beginning to see in a different light. It's scary, but - as long as we bind ourselves in love to God - it's also very freeing, to discover that God is bigger than the little rules and little boxes that I'd tried to contain him to. As I've grown spiritually, my world has gotten bigger, not smaller - as he bursts into each aspect of my life. That's freedom!

    PS - Being by the ocean, walking the endless shore, while the wind whips my hair, is one of my images. That and being in the house without the kids! ;-)

    PPS - Your reference to little boxes made me think of this song I like, appropriately named "Little Boxes": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7_lx5mjaxQ

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    1. Thanks Becky, I'll check out that song!
      I've been thinking lately about my quick, pat responses, generally in "Christianese", to many of the queries people have about what I believe about God, and salvation, and His story. There's much more than I can write in this reply, but suffice to say I've had to really LISTEN to myself and examine the answers I so easily spout.
      I need to be "free" and honest in my discussions with people. If I am constantly surrounding myself with people that I tend to agree with, I never have to think deeply about how my beliefs line up with truth. (Much more could be added to this discussion!)

      Ahh the ocean! Beautiful image!

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