We can’t ever be free.
I have moments of feeling free: absolutely, totally free. They are moments when I forget myself, when I’m completely caught up in something bigger, wilder, more elemental than myself. They are the moments when I walk out of work, walk out of my life. They don’t last. I wouldn’t want them to.
The important things are the ties that bind you. They may chafe and irritate, but they are the things that make us people, make us human. Love, friendship, parenting, family – that complex web of threads that hold us in place. If we cut all of them, what would we be? Somewhere on the other side of freedom, I think. Somewhere dark, and silent, and lonely.
wind on the water
bird flying over the trees
nestlings call for food
Bjorn asks us to haibun on freedom for the dVerse Monday night prompt.
If you had told me I would spend my days in dancing and laughter with a gallant sea captain – well, I daresay I would have looked at you in disbelief through the lorgnette I affected, shaken my head and moved away.
I was the eldest – and plainest – of seven orphaned sisters, of limited means. I dreamed of romance and adventure, but I knew my duty. I became a governess and watched as my sisters in turn secured positions or husbands. When Louisa, the youngest of us, married the Reverend Coulter and travelled with him to Kettering, I seized my opportunity.
English governesses were all the rage in Russia, I learned, and I secured myself a position in St Petersburg. Such excitement! I took a berth on a small vessel, mainly carrying cargo, but also myself and three commercial travellers .This was the adventure I had dreamed of, and the warm glances I exchanged with Captain Aaronovitch were my own secret romance.
And then – disaster! An ice-berg! Imagine the maelstrom of emotions I experienced – fear of doom, then delight as I felt the Captain’s strong arms around me and knew I would not die unkissed.
And then the unexpected joy of this spirit form, and this sense of freedom – what freedom! – as I and the Captain frolic and cavort in these icy seas, through the long Arctic summer days, and the starlit nights of winter.
The prompt is from Jane Dougherty, and the image is by Ilya Repin – it’s called What Freedom!