Friday, July 04, 2008

Freedom.....

Fourth of July.

Red, White and Blue.

A day to celebrate freedom.

Time on my hands,

OC far away,

Son off with friends,

Ancient ones visited earlier.

Sympathetic sounds made for the ailments.

Draw them into talking of the old days

And their old country.

How Stalin and communism forced them to flee,

Or end up in Siberia,

For daring to want to be free.


No big barbeque.

No children clamoring for fireworks.

No children. Period. All grown and scattered …..

Fielding calls for fireworks from their own children, perhaps….


Freedom.

To sit in the balmy evening air,

With my book,

Or the paper.

To read about who’s blowing up whom in the world

In the quest for “freedom.”

Free to do the crossword,

Or sudoku.

Or, perchance, to blog…………


Free ,free, free!



But how free am I?

How free are you?

How free are any of us?

I think we are all prisoners of how we think.

Some of us in darker cells than others.

My parents and the nuns taught us many things.

I learned to read and write.

Not to stick my tongue out and not to stare.

I learned to count and do arithmetic.

To say “please” and “thank you”

And not pick my nose.

I learned there was a lot of world out there,

Beyond Galway Bay and the Irish Sea.

America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.

Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie and Superior.

I learned that the world did not begin the day I was born.

And probably won’t end on the day I die.

I learned how to sing and dance,

How to jump rope and play ball.

Latin and French

Algebra and geometry,

And a little trigonometry

[although it hurt my head.]


And every day started with religion class.

The ten commandments.......

Thou shalt not,

Thou shalt not,

Thou shalt not.

The four gospels,

The seven deadly sins.


But no science.

No biology.

We might have to see pictures of naked people.

We couldn’t have that.

It might lead to impure thoughts...

Or occasions of sin……

No chemistry, no physics.

Because God made the world.

In six days, remember?

We couldn’t have people believing

It might have been gasses, or molecules or big bangs.


Critical thinking was not on the curriculum.

Because the nuns didn’t want us to think.

Thinking was dangerous.

Don’t ask awkward questions.

If they couldn’t explain it, it was probably

A matter of “Faith and morals.”

We would just have to believe.

Faith, Hope and Charity---the first one of these.

To do otherwise would make you a heretic.

Get you excommunicated.

Secure your place in hell.


So here I sit, in the fading light,

The air a-crackle with fireworks,

And the raucous din of insects,

In a free country [the Current Occupant’s efforts notwithstanding.]

Where the nuns have no sway.

Where a person is free to think as she pleases.

To bend, and maybe even break, the bars of the prison cell,

Fashioned in her youth,

And let the light shine in.


Free to question, and

To wonder, out loud,

Without being called a heretic,

Or being excommunicated,

Or sent to Siberia…….

9 comments:

Kacey said...

Beautiful...how did the nuns manage to contain the spirit within you? I, for one, am happy that you broke the chains that held you earthbound.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Well said Molly. Blessings, marlene

Ali Honey said...

So glad Molly that you broke out! I'm very glad you ask questions and think and LEARN. It wasn't JUST the Church but also the times. Many folk I meet still have chains around their brains and don't want to see things any other way!

Belated Happy 4th of July!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Molly! That was awesome!

meggie said...

To soar on the wings of thought....

seventh sister said...

Great post. We are all as free as we think we are. If we can just remember how to think, we'll be OK.

jkhenson said...

Thankful to be free to read your blog-to think my own thoughts, provoked by your blog! Your post was wonderful! Thinking of you!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Freedom is priceless, but it isn't free.

Excellent prose, milady.

So... now that you are in a different place and time, what do you think?
Now that you can study what you want, and consider all of the possibilities...

What do you think?


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Tanya Brown said...

Something tells me that in your innocent fashion, you gave the nuns a run for their money.

I also came from an environment where questioning certain things was unacceptable. Learning to think has been a painful process.