Considering Freedom

It’s July and in the United States of America, this is the month when we celebrate our national freedom. We look back at our founding, at the Revolutionary War, and celebrate our freedom as a nation. And in many ways we are free.

We especially celebrate freedom of speech in the United States, though we are constantly debating how far one can go before abridging that right. Many people struggle with personal freedom as well—the right to work in a decent job, live in a sound home, send your children to safe and clean schools. The basics of life are out of the reach of so many in our country, and we are constantly seeking answers to those basic human issues.

And some people struggle with being able to speak the truth and be respected. Kids in schools. People accosted by police. Psychiatric patients. Prisoners.

I think Rilke’s poem, copied below, offers us much to think about. He is longing for the freedom to speak the things that are meaningful and release the current inside.
I hope his words spark some ideas for you.

Fountain in Ireland
Fountain in Ireland

I Believe in All That Has Never Been Spoken
~ Rainer Marie Rilke

I want to free what waits within me
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

What waits within your heart? What do you want to free? Please share your thoughts in the comment area.

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