Essay – The Right to the Exercise of Freedom

In the wilderness there is a religious understanding that the everyday traveller has an accompanying guide looking on from the heavens. The guide is meant to lead all the way, until the traveller’s final home is reached at last, and marvelled by the experience the traveller is compelled never to stray. The guide is to help eyes see all what good transmits, to help ears hear the calls for help far and near, for feet to go the way the guide does show, to help hands do all things loving, kind and true, and for the traveller to feel useful, growing everyday into the guide the traveller imagines. The guide is believed to be the omniscient, the endless; the one who has never had a beginning, unlike travellers. And still there are those thinking travellers who find they are free to doubt the guide which has no beginning.

That most subtle guide, the self, will not let the traveller forget the good things spoken of; and will allow in the uplifting of the heart, for there is work to be done in this life; the traveller is able to give a good account of oneself to others, and when the day’s light has gone, to bring watch and keep, and be sent quiet sleep. All that has been wrong to-day is put aside for remembrance; the next day will be good and gentle, like past times when happiness made a difference.

Upon the next awakening light has protected the dreamer in the night. And energy is renewed with the feeling of freedom. In the early morning, with the sun’s first rays, childlike anticipations invoke a sense there will be no wandering from what has so far been learned, and not into unquestioning stray. The long road ahead is risen for the next meeting, a fair breeze blows from the sea, the autumn sun warms from above, and there are rains falling soft on forests and fields yonder. Lush is the terrain to be walked upon, firm are the pathways, clean is the air breathed, friendly are fellow travellers met with, each of their differences dismissed.

Now that the traveller is raised from sleep, having stored energies, having slept peacefully at night, by the grace of luck the traveller will think of what will help the getting through this new day. Thoughtful words are made and thrown, like mists over hills and valleys, and the dew of provenance descends, and the daily fruits of labour begin again.

The traveller indeed accepts the highs and lows to come from this emerging day, owning what should be owned, and from knowledge ascend a higher peak than yesterday. It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding around the opening, like the opening in a garment, so that it may not tear – Exodus 28:32.  That is if insight is as determined as the doomed trench soldier gone over the rampart. Whatever is done today, an act of kindness, concern, affection, argument, actions uplifting or remorse bound: all are framed in the lone traveller as though a work of art. Art lost to the world but at its base is scrawled, barely legible, the artist’s name, and the names of all who have looked at it.

Outside of the home there are many places of refuge for the traveller. An open field. A city park. The vibrant sky. A cavern will do. A home. In the shadows of namelessness, when loneliness is all light, a different day is wished for, when no words describe the feelings of aliveness and a oneness with the surrounds of nature and lands, and the people who love it and squabble over it, who want it for their tribes, who will spill their blood for it. Though it is love and hate, there is this connection. Irrigation with water or blood, the Earth will take it all. As compost and rubble. A use will be made of everything cast down upon its surface. Even in a shattered world, between melodies and violent dissonance, there will always be something that is resting.

The lone traveller is willing to return thanks to the mother, the earth, which sustains and determines, which uplifts, which destroys. Thanks to the rivers and streams, for assisting in life. Thanks to leaves of plants, which furnish natural medicines and provides curative drugs. Thanks to the wheat, barley and corn, and to their relatives, the beans and fruits, made into food. The lone traveller gives thanks to the bushes and trees, which provide shade and building materials. And thanks are given to the winds, which, by moving fresh airs, cleanse the ashen atmosphere. Thanks to the moon and the stars, when luminous while the sun is away doing other work. Thanks are given to clouds for the rains, and to the sun, that warms flesh, stimulates photosynthesis, and dries carcasses. And thanks are given to the lone traveller, for without experience and sensations there will be no stories to be written and read.

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