One day I decided to take some time and contemplate what freedom means. I wanted to be open-minded about it, not look for a convenient truth. I allowed myself the freedom of exploring

I thought of the mesmerizing Hubble telescope’s images from the outer space and the ever expanding universe 

I thought of the millions of galaxies, full of hungry dark holes, dead planets and hot stars 

I thought of the span of our lifetime, the inevitability of our end

I thought of a time when I used to buy shoes a size smaller being convinced they can expand. Self-inflicting limitations, no space to breathe

I thought of the million pixels in my phone, the sound of message notifications

I thought about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations

Article 1 We are all born free

I thought of conscious and unconscious choices

I thought of people behind bars 

I thought of birds flying 

I thought about being trapped within borders. I thought I knew what they meant at some point but I must have forgotten 

I thought at the very room from where I was exploring the idea of freedom and I felt confined inside the walls with a million objects staring at me, claiming attention—user guides unopened, price tags on

Hell, I thought, have I veered into the wrong mindset, exploring the antithesis of freedom?

I thought about Pascale saying all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone

I thought how can one sit quietly in a room alone? Does Zoom count as alone?

I thought of Virginia Woolf saying one needs money and a room of one’s own if we were to write

Maybe quiet and alone does make sense. In order to hear one’s thoughts as clearly as possible. Money too. It would make Article 18 Freedom of thought and Article 19 Freedom of expression much easier

I couldn’t help but notice my exploratory journey about freedom was revolving very much around thought. I thought and I thought and I thought again, my mind a race track for thoughts

Until I became tired of thinking and crashed my gaze into the wall in front of me

There, on the white wall—the only wall free from hanging pictures and To Do lists and more quotes from someone else—was a small black spider, bathing in the early autumn sunlight

I had left the window open for too long and the creature felt free to come inside. I felt an unanticipated smile start to form, the muscles on my face relaxing, the creases on my forehead flattening. I don’t know, it must have been the perspective this small creature brought to this moment, or her resolve. Perhaps the way the light was reflecting on the wall and in the room or all of these

I kept smiling

Free of thoughts