Freedom

While the rest of the world celebrates with gifts and feasts and mistletoes, she chooses to celebrate in complete freedom.

Today is the first day of the final month of 2018. It’s 9.24am. Up until this minute, I have been lounging on my sofa, still in my pyjamas, reading Patti Smith’s M Train. She is one of my favourite authors at the moment. It’s a recent realisation, but I fell in love with her words quickly. In the pages I read earlier, she writes about making “aggressive arrangements” to spend Christmas Eve in solitude.

Going to the movies — alone. Shopping for an organic bag of popcorn and coffee before the movie — alone. While the rest of the world celebrates with gifts and feasts and mistletoes, she chooses to celebrate in complete freedom. As I read those words, I feel my heart burst with desire. I desire complete freedom — I feel the impulse to run out without a care in the world to purchase a movie ticket, buy a bag of sweet popcorn, and for the next two hours be unavailable to my world as I step into another’s. I desire freedom irrationally and urgently even as I am already sitting in solitude and bliss.

I had not put on any music this sunny December morning. I wanted to enjoy the mash-up of nature’s sounds — birds stretching their vocals, the accelerando clamour of cicadas, leaves jostling outside my balcony — and those man-made — the hum of my fan, cars swooshing by, the rhythmic pop, pop, pop of tennis balls from the tennis court six floors below my perch. A cacophonous soundtrack but therapeutic.

The alchemy of all of these conditions caused a sudden rush of emotions in me that had me leaping to the dining table, to grab my laptop and type. Just type. Type type type until I’ve poured out all the words that are kicking hard and fast to the surface, impatient to be released from a vessel craving catharsis. They, too, desired to be freed.

It is the first day of the final month of 2018. It is time…

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