Sunday, November 22, 2009


"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become."  ~Harold Taylor~

As I was walking home from the farmers' market today, I thought about freedom. Freedom comes in many forms - personal, physical, mental, financial, emotional, and governmental (and probably more). I have learned quite a bit about freedom in my life with the experiences I've had and the lessons these experiences have taught me. I don't smoke, drink, or use drugs, so I have freedom from substance abuse. I don't drive a car, so I have financial freedom from the expense of owning one. I don't own a house, so I don't have the expense of upkeep and repair. I don't eat certain foods, so I've lowered my risk of certain diseases.

Yet aside from all of this, when I think about freedom, it goes much deeper than that. I think true freedom comes from within - from the way I look at life and how I process my environment. I don't have to own many of the material possessions that some people feel equate freedom - and to them they might and that's ok. Although I do have certain possessions in my life and they help, freedom comes from the beauty I see around me, a God in my life and His love, good memories of times like yesterday - a bunch of poets and teachers having dinner after a poetry reading, or being in a quiet apartment with my cat next to me. Freedom is an abstract concept although it can have concrete manifestations.

Most of all, freedom is looking back from where I've come to where I am now and not worrying about where I'll be going, since I know that's not in my hands, but in the hands of someone greater than I am.

The following is a poem I wrote about a picture I saw online for another project I'm writing poems for - the return of people to the internment camp at Manzanar. One photo struck me particularly. Maybe this is what started my thinking about freedom.

pierced heart

in darkness my heart
is pierced by that from
which i can't escape

an unwilling
prisoner of hate
not because of what

i am only because
my association with
events make me who i am

free me to love again
as i once did unwrap
this wire from my spirit

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