Tag Archives: freedom

I Hope You Are Finally Free

Yesterday, I grieved for my captain; my genie who made all my wishes come true. I mourned the passing of the influential figure I saw on the silver screen, and the loss of years of laughs yet to come. I grieved for the man who died, a hero of my youth.

Today, however, I feel sorrow only for the man who made a living making other laugh, while himself living without the happiness he brought to so many. I feel for the comedian whose final act was a tragedy, who lived in pain for years. Perhaps he sought freedom in death, perhaps happiness, perhaps peace – I mourn for the person who was unable to find those things in life.

I didn’t write about Robin Williams at first because I didn’t know what to say. Like many others, I did not realize how much he was suffering, and even if I had, it is unlikely I could have changed anything. The truth is Robin Williams was a stranger to me, and while I can feel sorrow and regret or a life lost, there is little I could have done to change the outcome.

But there are so many people in my life for whom I can and will offer support. Please, please, please, if you’re suffering, know that I am here, willing to lend a crying shoulder, a listening ear, a helping hand. Don’t suffer in silence, or smile because you feel like you have to; I can promise that I will accept you as you are, no pretending necessary.

R.I.P. Robin Williams. You have been well loved, and will be well missed.

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The Swing

In my life, there are few things that have given me more joy than a really excellent swing. A swing is the surest way for me to work myself out of a foul mood. It’s also my favorite way to celebrate a happy mood, and the best method I’ve found of isolating myself from others while still being surrounded by them. If I really need to think my way through a problem, I hop onto a swing, and leave my worries behind my on the ground. One of my most treasured memories with my best friends occurred on a swing, right beside one of their houses. Some of my favorite memories of my dad involve him pushing me on a swing. My best times with children I have loved have involved me pushing to greater and greater heights.

Even in the years when I wasn’t allowed to go the park alone, I would frequently sneak off to do just that, just for a few moments on the swing (this is basically the type of child I was; disobedient, unaware of danger, and strangely easy to please).

To my way of thinking, there are few sights more relaxing than that of your shoes framed by sky and leaves of trees, and few moments better than the one as you swoop back towards the earth, feeling your heart dance inside of you. And that moment when you’re at the top. Whoa baby.

In Friends, when Ross wants to take Emma to the swings (for those of you who are not Friends fanatics like myself, Ross and Rachel have a child named Emma. That is the only important thing you need to know to understand this story.), Rachel is terrified. Due to a childhood experience with a swing, she’s convinced that they’re dangerous and says “[T]hose things go like 40 miles an hour! Ok? And there is that moment when you are at the top, when you just don’t know if you’re gonna return back to earth!” And of course, Ross makes fun of her for her neurosis (saying: “Space if filled with orbiting children”) and then the audience laughs and they go to the park.

But the thing is, Rachel is right. The swing does go really fast. And there really is a moment, when you’re at the very top, and you’re just not sure if you’re coming back. You feel like if you jumped out of your seat at that moment, you could jump out and just fly, forever. You feel like nothing is holding you down, all these strings and tethers tying you to the earth have been cut, and you have this glorious moment of freedom. This is the sort of freedom eagles felt in the years before DDT. This is the freedom that dinosaurs experienced prior to extinction.

There’s nothing holding you down, and nothing holding you back. You’re just a collection of parts; your feet framed by sky, hands rubbed raw by the chains, your legs still for a moment between pumps. And at this moment, more than at any other, you are truly greater than the sum of your parts.

The only problem with swings is that you can never quite get enough of them. As a child, no one will push you quite as high as you want to go. They’re all certain that you can’t hold on tight enough (even though you know you CAN), and give you small gentle pushes, barely letting you feel the sky. And then, you get a little bit older, and you’re banned from going to parks alone, due to the dangers of large open spaces where any person could come and do bad things without witnesses. And then suddenly you’re an adult, and while your feelings haven’t changed, the swings have; they aren’t really yours any more.

You’ll find yourself being watched by parents suspiciously as you start swinging, and just as you reach the top you’ll see a child watching you enviously. You are no longer a simple swing lover – suddenly, you’re an interloper, an adult without an accompanying child in an area reserved for children. You’re both a little creepy, and the thief of children’s’ enjoyment. And you realize that it is your responsibility to let go of this swing, to get off of it and walk away, so that this child may use it. And you do, but every time you consider ignoring the children, because it’s hard to let go.

So I love the swings. And I may get off of them every so often for one child or the other; I may even be conscious of the fact that adults aren’t supposed to love swings quite as much as I do. But I can’t stop myself from loving them. I still love to sit on a swing, letting the plastic cradle my butt tightly (because let’s face it, swings aren’t built for adult women with more hip than strictly necessary), getting buffeted slightly by the wind as I get higher and higher, my heart filling with half remembered tunes and poetry.

I feel my stomach swooping as I drop towards the earth, and if I close my eyes I can imagine myself flying off. For just an instant, I am a small child orbiting through space, having wild adventures and leaping from satellite to satellite. I am untethered, a balloon let loose in the wind, and I float up and up until the clouds obscure me from sight.

For that one moment, I feel pure and I feel as the sun must, shining, burning, and brilliant.

May your keyboard never falter

It’s over! It’s over! At least for now!

Last Saturday, I took the LSAT, and then I took myself to a yoga class! (I was a hot date! Get it? Cuz it was hot yoga.) And when I came home, I was confronted with four loads of laundry. That’s a lot of clothes – that’s a lot of shirts, pants, and sweaters, certainly far too many clothes for one person. And the worst part, at least to me, was that I probably had at least two or three more loads in my drawers. I don’t want to be redundant, but I seriously do not need that many outfits.

The rest of my week has been pretty normal though; yesterday, I submitted a script that I wrote for a show my school puts on every year about oppression in our society, and I’m really excited about it. While I’m not certain it will get picked – I am sure there are many writers here far more talented than I – I have my fingers crossed. I just know it would be an amazing feeling to see someone acting based on a script I wrote.

The simplest reason for why this blog has been neglected these past few weeks is that I haven’t been able to finish a post. I’ve found myself jumping around randomly, from task to task without any notion of completion. In fact, when I started this post, I was directly in the middle of sending an email.

Does that ever happen to you? You’re normally on an even keel, but every so often you seem to be a little off. Tasks you normally enjoy are suddenly taxing ordeals, and sitting down for fifteen straight minutes seems like a massive chore. I wound up watching a lot of television and squeezing homework into the times when I was not. I think part of it is just that I was looking forward to the LSAT in the sort of way that it had become my whole life. And suddenly it disappeared, and it was like my world had lost its center. All gravitational forces exerted upon my little earth by its sun ceased to exist, and I was bounding along through space, with nary a sun to pull me into its orbit.

I am clearly not a science major. But I think I get plus points for that analogy!

In any case, today is the day I try and change that. I’ve awoken early, I’m at a coffee shop, and I’m clearly typing fairly efficiently. And I hope that you also have the type of productive morning that I am looking forward to having myself! May your thoughts flow smoothly and quickly, and your keyboard never falter!