Work, responsibility. I've heard adulthood described as looking both ways before crossing the street, only to get hit by a plane. The thing is, we forget. We forget the weights we carry, some put there by others. Some we picked up and forgot to put down again. Then, when we set everything aside and take time for ourselves, we marvel at the strange lightness. No two freedoms are alike, just as we each carry our own motley pack of problems. But let me tell you, freedom has two wheels.
If you're like the majority of us, you're bound by gravity, affixed to the ground so securely you don't question the fact. This is why stumbling on the stairs stops your heart for a beat. For that instant you are aloft, flying. Free. Then your adrenal glands kick in, making all the edges too sharp and giving you superhuman reflexes until you regain your footing. Remember the story of Icharus - man wasn't born to fly. Your feet touch again and you're safe. Safe, and you have already forgotten what flying feels like. Running brings us closer, brings us back. For a tiny slice of time both feet are off the ground, air and earth blending into soothing rhythm. Then the second is gone. No matter how hard you try, your legs lack the strength to leave the ground for long. There exists another option, for those so inclined. You will need a water bottle, and sunglasses, and most of a day. Best start early.
The bike is waiting in the garage, dust coating the seat and handlebars. A helmet hangs next to the dented bell, pads disintegrating and neglected. It will suffice; as long as the pedals turn and the wheels run smoothly, it will do. The morning is cool, the moisture not yet baked from the air. The start will be uninspiring; it always is. There are cars with inconsiderate drivers, potholes, puddles, dogs straining to the end of their leashes. It is acceptable to be irritated by them. Everyone is. Turning the corner, the road widens and smooths out, and you can start now. The pedals turn faster of their own accord as the air glides by, silken against your face and arms. Here you are aloft and not, free on the ground, untethered. Here you are strong. The rhythm comes from nowhere, legs moving effortlessly in time. Friction cannot hold you back now, or George at the office with his endless memos about the legal pads nobody can remember having ordered. Time is immaterial as you fly, the road blurring past but not so quickly you can't see the flowers. Before you realize it you are back in your driveway, shards of leaf clinging to the slick of sweat on your calves and a stripe of mud flicked in delicate pointilism up your back. The bicycle returns to the garage, water bottle an empty husk. Without the repetitive pressure on the pedals your legs have forgotten what sensation is, so you float into the kitchen. You are already feeling the soreness settling in, muscles flickering like a car engine ticking as it cools. Tomorrow you will question the wisdom of sitting on a peeling saddle for hours on end. Tomorrow you will fly again.
Admitting You to Rehab
Day in and day out was the same thing. Sometimes you went to work, sometimes you were "sick" and had to call in for a week straight. The third week of not going to work was the final straw. First came the ultimatum, then came the anger, finally came the acceptance. But wait, your drunk and still drinking. How do I get a drunk fool on a plane for rehab... shoot, I can't. Ok, lets get to detox. What is detox? Where is detox? It must be at the ER right? I call, they say say they do detox so I bring you. I wait 3 hours in and ER with a drunk idiot. What is taking so long, you are starting to raise your voice and threatening to leave. Why can't they hurry? Don't they know it took me 4 hours to get you in the car and another 2 of trying to convince you to get out of the car in the parking lot? Finally we go to the back only for the doctor to tell me that they do not detox at their hospital. WHAT!? That can't be right. I called and someone said they do. Great, now I have to do this again. I have to get you into a detox somewhere. It's 3 AM and I'm tired. You're angry that brought him there for nothing. We fight, go home, and sleep.
Ok, day two of getting you to detox. Hopefully it doesn't take another 6 hours. I call a center, they schedule you to be there at 4. You is drinking again but whatever, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You yell at me while I pack his things so you will be comfortabl.e It doesn't take as much convincing this time. It only takes an hour to get you in the car and 5 m. inutes to walk in the center. It's early afternoon on a Sunday so I still have some of my day left. I go home and I pass out for the night because I am so spent from the events that happened from the week prior.
It's Monday, I wake up and go to work as usual. One hour into work I get a phone call from the center. Great, they are bringing you to the ER because you are complaining of stomach pains. I found out hours later you are being admitted due to pancreatitis. Wonderful, your drinking almost killed you. You keep calling and asking me to bring you things. You wants clothes but he's not happy with what I bring because nothing fits your swollen stomach. You isn't satisfied with how often or how long I visit even though I work a full time job. You complains about everything I bring you to eat and drink even though you are on a limited diet.
After being in the hosptial for one week it is finally time for you to get on a plane to go to rehab. The hospital releases you somewhat early even though you has an afternoon flight. I am over all of this by this point. I cannont wait for you to get on that damn plane and be gone for at least a month. I am tired. We go home, you showers, then we head to the airport. I am anxious about you catching your flight and you are just mad that I'm obvioulsy ready for you to leave. Don't you see what you have put me through? It is finally time for you to go through security. You are past the point of my vision and all I can do is pray you get on that flight. You won't answer my texts or calls so I know nothing until the rehab center employee calls and tells me he has you. Getting that you out of my house has sadly been one of the most liberating feelings I have ever felt. I'm not feeling liberated because you are getting help, I feel liberated because for the first time in 8 years you are not my problem.
Ties That Bind
Cages are not made of wood and screw, nor are they made of steel and bolt and weld. Cages, the ones that hold real power, exist only to those that breathe life in the constriction, that subdue to the power of reservation. To break the cage is but a simple matter. Break yourself. Remove the barriers built up over a lifetime of experience. Deconstruct all that you know and rebuild from scratch; rebuild in the vision of freedom that your cage held you separated from. Truth. Begin by casting away the lies you tell yourself and the cages will crumble, and you will be liberated. I wish you luck, for I'm still working on my own bars.
Fields Of Grass
Most of my dreams regularly spawn this image of a holy field, a vast landscape golden as well as bright, I can’t help but feel free when I imagine a field of grass. It is strange to think of a field, just some random plain as a heavenly place, but it just feels right to think of a field like this.
I think this liberating fantasy comes from two places: The movie of the book 1984 and the film Lovely Bones. I recall in 1984 a scene where Winston and Julia are in a little forest off in the distance from the city and they stare out at a bright green hill. I think it was the context of the story rather than the hill itself, here you have two imperfect beings living in a horror show of a society where they are constantly being surveyed, and freedom is fantasy accept for the one before them.
Lovely Bones was a drama/thriller film in which a young girl in high school is kidnapped and brutally murdered, causing a long drama within her family to discover her killer. Soon after she dies she is transported to a place I believe to be heaven, I haven’t watched the film in a while but it is a place where she can’t escape until the kidnapper is found. As the movie comes to the climax the girl runs into a massive golden green field, once again freedom comes across my mind.
I’ll admit it’s sort of boring and perhaps to see a field as liberating, but whenever I come across one on a road trip i’m stunned by it. I find that a field entails a lot, and has several liberating aspects, I could only imagine what it would be like just to run across one without fear of running across some barrier.