Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I know but one freedom ...

A wise man once said ‘I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). A phrase that always comes to the tip of my tongue at times least expected. I find myself repeating the words ‘freedom of the mind’, what do they mean? I roll it over on my tongue play with it a little, accidently spill my tea on my fresh white shirt and the words disappear from my mind as quickly as they will appear the next time.

They popped into my head last night, as I lay in bed recalling the sleepless hours I had spent before. Freedom of the mind, I pondered, perhaps it is the right to think what you like, to be free from things that restrain us. Is it to cast away the ball and chain that squeezes our imaginations shut, an abusive husband, a school bully, society? I like to think that freedom of the mind is the power to imagine. So what if there is no such things as ghosts? It would still be fun to visit a haunted house, walk underneath creaking floorboards, through draughty rooms, along dusty corridors and believe.

 Most people would call me delusional if they knew that last night as I lay in bed I could see the flickering of lights around my room, I could hear the buzzing of wings and there was a tugging at my feet and my arms. They had come for me, my heart lilted. The fairies were here and they had spun fishing line around my ankles and my wrists. I could hear the beating of their hearts quicken and their groans as they tried to lift me from the depths of my dream and out of my bed. I laughed and rolled over, my ankles stung and I heard a loud thump on the floor similar to the sound of a fly hitting against the window pane.

Peeping over the edge of my bed to see who was there I saw a white, bright light glowing on the wooden floor of my bedroom. It was Gem. I picked her up and placed her in the palm of my hand.
            “What’s the matter my dear?” I asked, rubbing the tip of my index finger against her cheek.
            “It’s you that’s the matter,” she sobbed. “You’re turning into an adult and won’t be able to play with us for much longer. We can’t even pull you from your bed. Soon we won’t have enough fairy dust to give you so you can become one of us.” I chuckled at the spluttering fairy as she tickled my palm with every hiccupping bump she gave.
            “Don’t be silly Gem, I will never be too old to play with you and the other Fairies at Farthen Abbey,” I smiled and from her pocket she procured her tin shaker. Fluttering around me she sprinkled me with white fairy dust. My ears began to tickle and my back felt itchy. Looking at my hand I watched as it shrunk in size. We giggled and holding hands flew out my bedroom window and descended through the night.

 Perhaps freedom of the mind is the art of not growing up, holding onto our dreams and never letting go. ‘I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.’


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