Thursday, July 3, 2014

Free : Six Months In

A couple months into the year, I thought I might get a tattoo of my one word, free, on the back of my neck. But then a couple months later, I thought, no no that's not right. Then, I thought I would get a key there instead, something a little more symbolic and open-ended, like my other tattoos. But lately I have been thinking, no no that's not right, that's not right. I will have to wait. That just isn't it.


When I first started living as if I were free, it destroyed me so beautifully I thought it could be my word for life. But now I'm starting to realize that free really is just the key. It opened the lock which had bolted the door which then slowly cracked open further and further until it hung wide open. I have stood there for a long time now, staring into the open space, looking out and knowing in my head that I am free, letting the fact of it take my thoughts where they may, whispering it to myself over and over and over again. I am free I am free I am free.

Deep in the woods by Isengardt, on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by  Isengardt 
But I am still living in the cage, because the key is not enough. As long as the door is unlocked, you are technically free, but you also have to walk through it. I thought I had done this, leaving church and all, I thought I had ran out the door as soon as it swung open, but I had not.


What if I stopped living as if everything I did and thought was inherently flawed? What if I started living as if my simple, wild soul was one little piece of a giant puzzle? What if I started surrendering myself to the shape and location of my own piece, rather than jamming and tearing it to fit where it would not?


The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage, 
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the 



What matters most, is not that I am free, but what I am free for. Opening the door is one stage of my life, but the world outside is the rest of it. I already have one foot out the door now, but where I am headed is still glorious Mystery.

What if, when I finally emerge from the cage, I ignore the tracks set before me? What if I refuse to place one foot here and one foot there as always, like a child following her mother in the snow? What if I turn my back on both paths diverging in the woods, and instead grab a hatchet, blazing my own trail by the light of my soul? What if I make a thousand tracks in the wrong direction, but get to see things I never would have glimpsed otherwise?

And what if I stray so far from the path that I am given up for lost? And what if my hidden, meandering trail allows me to traverse the woods completely unseen by the gatekeepers and rule makers and line drawers of the world? What if I return to the cages by the haze of moonlight and start dropping keys? 


  1. I love this! That's what our own freedom looks like- the empowerment to set others free- or at least drop the keys, as you say. Even as we are still in the pathfinding process ourselves. Thanks for sharing.