A few thoughts on freedom
A poem in spoken rhythm Freedom is terrible. Freedom makes demands. It is the harsh master Who cares not for your Prejudices, your Bigotries, your Fears, your past. Freedom expects you to be Somewhat intelligent, Somewhat wise, somewhat A person with whom It can be trusted with Its awful power. Freedom Carves itself in your soul, And cares not for the damage It does. It cares not If you are ready for it. It cares not if you never are. When it comes, it demands Obedience. And by obedience, I mean, obedience to the quiet Self. But more than that. Freedom is not Narcissistic. Freedom, above all, Demands that you leave That selfishness. The self To which it demands fealty Is the self of the Community. The self Of those around you. The self of humanity. Because freedom is not To do as you will. Freedom is, finally, To do as you should. Those who bray about Freedom understand it Not at all. They glimpse it In shadows, in dark Crevices. They see it As license, as the chance To slough off all Obligations. As The endless summer, where You can satisfy all Your desires, all your Pet beliefs. This is not Freedom, but chaos. When you see suffering And think nothing Of it, this is not Freedom. This is Pathology, this is Illness, this is The death of all. Freedom is life, But life is hard. Life is hard-won From the soil. Life Is earned and bled For. Life is not A trophy for Merely showing up. Freedom is a gift. And gifts have awful Duties. No gift Is free. All gifts Place an onus on you. The onus to use the gift Wisely, the onus to not Waste the gift. In the end, freedom Is a sacred trust, One which demands That you treasure it, Not for yourself, But for those who follow, Those faceless generations Whom you’ll never know.
4 thoughts on “Freedom is Terrible”
“Because freedom is not
To do as you will.
Freedom is, finally,
To do as you should.”
And we have forgotten this.
Beautifully rendered and tendered, Liberal Librarian.
And it’s great to see you penning poetry again, as well.
Hola, Don Bibliotecario.
Just wanted to thank you for your kind words in reply to my departure from TPV the other night.
I’m awhirl in thought about, well, every damn thing, these being days of trash fire and shatter-glass noise, so I’ll not burden this comment with additional, save that I know leaving TPV was right for me, and already I breathe a bit easier.
In the meantime, thank you again, for your work and your kindness, and I hope we can get together for that drink some day. I’m thinking about starting my own website (hence my query a few weeks back about WordPress), doing some research. I want to feature my fiction, but also corral my thoughts into some essays. I’m also trying to fix every other damn thing in my life. You know: the usual.
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
—A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3, Scene 2
Kick-off for USA vs. France starts in 40 minutes. Scratches behind the ears to all the Hounds of Love, and all good wishes for you and yours in health, laughter, intellect, and dignity.
Hasta la proxima,