When I was very young and beginning to go to school, I had a recurring dream. The scene was my new school. I could fly, and loved it. But little by little as the dream progressed I lost my ability to fly, and finally I couldn’t any more.
As a child you’re allowed to have some dreams, since there’s not much risk of you actually fulfilling them. But then at about 14 I began to feel the final pressure to give up my dreams and become a slave. Don’t fly, they said. It’s not safe. It’s not possible. Give it all up and live a half-life. Cut off your wings. Give it up.
(Image: My artwork from a few years back. More here)
And so I began to slowly, torturously die inside.
I was sensitive enough to have some idea of what was going on. Or perhaps I was joyful and free enough inside that the pain of this death was more noticeable. In any case, I became depressed, and felt alone – so alone.
I grasped onto what I could and held onto my will to fight. I eventually made a big gesture to show that I wasn’t owned by anybody, and yet the struggle went on inside of me.
This was combined with lots of other negative influences such as extreme solitude, confusion and self-estrangement. From this combination the tension inside me became so great I finally snapped and went mad for a week or so.
From that low point, I slowly dragged myself back to… myself, though it was a long path and it isn’t finished yet. Slowly, trying to recover those precious dreams that made me fly. Trying to forget those voices and hands which turned flying into pain and taught me to stay on the ground.
Yet flying is not pain, it’s the only thing that will let us, let any of us, feel true to ourselves, feel free. There is never any joy or any true benefit that was ever secured by cutting off our wings.
And so I’m letting the past fall away from me. All the lies, all the false conditioning, all the painful memories – they’re falling away.
‘Cause to struggle against the chains is only to strengthen their reality; to fight an illusion is to call an illusion real. The only way to freedom is to let the untrue fall away. It never meant anything in the first place.
And so I’ll recover my dreams and stretch my wings again. I’ll breathe in that sweet giddiness of flight, the only oxygen that I’d ever want in me.
We are all free. Be yourself; be beautiful; be who you always were. Let the lies fall away. You were always free. You were always who you are; truth, bliss, love and everything worth living for. Let that be your reality. There is nothing else.