Freedom

February 4, 2014

The wind whipped through my hair and coursed down my body in a way that I haven’t felt in years.

My hair danced madly, joyfully, and I couldn’t help but smile. When I stopped running, when I stopped being able to move with comfort, I lost the ability to let my hair dance and twist like this. I lost the feeling of the air caressing me, flirting with me, teasing me and pushing me as it tries to hold on to me. I flexed my fingers, rotated my arms slowly as the wind carried them. I closed my eyes and reveled in it.

It was a cold, biting kind of happiness. That feeling of flying, that feeling of escaping and finding joy in release. Joy in liberation.

Today was like any other day, granted. As it had been for years. Today had started with pain and sorrow, with stiffness and dreariness. I had looked upon my work as if it were foreign, constructed out of pieces I knew should fit together but I had no idea how. I stared out at the faces of those who knew me, who cared for me, and I saw them flinch before they smiled. They knew but they could hardly see. It pained them too much to know me, to see me, to watch me struggle at being who I was and yet falling short, collapsing, being hobbled by the very nature of my body.

I used to run, to swim, to fight, to love, to write, to sing. Now I sit, most days, and I wait. I struggle with placing simple competence in what I am able to do. I struggle with standing up, with clothing myself, and with crossing a room here or there to do simple things, basic things. I spend my days managing my pain and wondering when I forgot how to do things that used to come second nature to me, that used to dance at the ends of my fingertips without needing a second thought on how to do them. What they are. How they work.

Today, though, I found  way to fly. To seek freedom, to seek liberation. That feeling of speed, that feeling of the wind coursing around me and propelling me forward while trying, futilely, to hold me back. Nothing could stop my escape. Not the pain I was in every day. Not my inability to be who I wanted or do what I wanted. Not the burden I placed on those who loved me, those who cared for me, those who looked at me with a mixture of frustration, affection, and pity. Not my decaying thoughts, plagued constantly by pitfalls and flaws that keep me from being anything more than a constant thing to fuss over, a child with adult impulses, a sick and fearful body cowering in fear of trying to do anything but putter on without challenge.

Today, I found a way to fly. Perhaps I’ll fly only once but, for now, until this ends, I have freedom. And, if it is the first and last time I can fly then, well, I’ll find a different kind of freedom when I land.

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