“You belong somewhere you feel free.”Tom Petty
A few weeks ago, I began to wander these streets I had never seen before. There is this soothing feeling when walking. More than the mere act of motion, there is completing it somewhere you know nothing, or close to nothing, about your surroundings. It is almost as if I were walking in the middle of nowhere. This somewhere was one of my nowhere’s. It was getting lost geographically, and up to a certain extent, it also meant finding myself. Moving, step by step, mile after mile, with no clear goal or destination in mind. The journey. A breath of fresh air.
I thus wondered: what was that feeling, if I could not describe it as the thrill of the unknown, or the discovery? Pondering on various ideas, it occurred to me that the closest word to depict that feeling was ‘free’. Indeed, in those very moments, meandering alongside the waterfront, under the arcades, I was liberated. Deprived of any fears on what I could stumble upon in my next deviation. Unaware of anything, any faces, any shops I could pass by. Untied from anything or anyone possible.
Perhaps, somewhat that’s of those who do not feel as though they belong and therefore choose to lead their life in unconventional ways.
Ultimately, is my goal to be happy or to be free? Is it both? Or does the first one certainly needs the crucial existence of the second one to occur?
Yet, the greatest of questions seems to remain unanswered. What is freedom? Am I fully, genuinely free? Or am I still so strongly tied to a legion of invisible and shady invented concepts that I cannot perceive them anymore?
On the cusp of my eighteenth birthday, I made a wish in a letter to my future self: for me ‘to feel free […] with the lessening fear, the decreasing sadness, the diminishing anxiety and to finally own the freedom I deserve by being fully honest with my close ones’. At the time, indeed, I grasped the idea of freedom as a near-synonym to authenticity and honesty, which are two values that I still believe are prominent in this concept. However, as my perception of my surroundings evolved over time, as if I had opened my window to the world wider, the sense of self decreased in my definition of freedom. For freedom is wide.
And that is also why there is freedom in art and there is freedom in being an artist.
Words gave me freedom. Languages destroyed the barriers. Getting free from any sort of expectations, burdens, from people and from the notion of time made me be myself, utterly and genuinely. Freedom was always on the journey to disclosing your true, shining self to the world. That is also the wonderful world of words.
TRIPTYCH ON FREEDOM — MAY 20th 2019
what does freedom mean to you?