To Be Both Bound And Free

locked blue door

We are…

 Bound by inevitable forces
Of this life, this time, this place.
Destiny, inheritance and the light
That comes with us from some place before.
Upbringing subtly shaping us,
All those patterns we have copied,
Learning, unintentionally,
To be happy, scared, manipulative or brave.

 It is likely that some of those forces
Will win an epic battle,
Ensnaring us to become
Vessels of joy or depression.
Kindness or cruelty
Could be ours to master.
Yesterday’s rejected babe
Is devoid of love tomorrow.

 Any outcome could be more likely
Depending on the tide,
Chained as we are to ourselves,
Most of us with eyes wide shut.
No idea we are locked in prisons
Of our own and our ancestors’ making,
Oblivious to how our lives and selves
Have been shaped, twisted and warped.

Maybe some of us manage
To rise above such things.
Tireless journeys on the long road
Having kindled an inner flame.
And we can hold it up high,
Bright beacon in the dark,
Emitting empathy, even though,
We were denied it as a child.

But most of us lack such history
Of the soul’s ongoing passage,
To resist the colossal waves
Of our earthquake fractured lives.
And we grow up, still children,
Who never learned who they are
And were never taught to seek deeply enough,
Or see clearly, with eyes wide open.

gate open

And we are…

Freed by the knowledge that these things
Are but time limited concerns.
They will come and they will go
At the will of the universe, or God.
Wherever we find ourselves
Is simply where we must be,
And the moment we accept this
Is the moment we become free.

To see with eyes wide open
Just how small we really are,
We are not the giants we mistakenly
Believed ourselves to be.
As the universe takes a single breath
We live and then we die,
Little specks of nothing
Barely dots upon the page.

And yet, somehow, we all exist
Whether deserving life or not.
And, somehow, in our tiny lives
Lies meaning, fathoms deep.
We are part of something greater
Amidst this unknown multitude,
And it is freedom beyond measure
Just to say ‘I am alive’.

Somewhere, somewhen, else
We may be asked to become something other,
The persecutor may take the hero’s turn,
A few steps down the path.
The why’s and how’s we cannot see
In dark and barren valleys,
But when, at last, a mountain peak we reach
Understanding clothes the land.

The things that really matter
Are the simplest things of all,
To be humbled in our nature
And grateful for the fall.
We are here to learn such wonders
From the night and from the day,
As we walk both bound and free
Through the mystery of our lives.

gate and tree


3 thoughts on “To Be Both Bound And Free

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