Joy or Freedom?

"HILL AND VALLEY", 1996, 20" x 5', m/m

"HILL AND VALLEY", 1996, 20" x 5', m/m


I would have to say that my number one value in life has been FREEDOM.

I know this because of the weeks I spent as a child messing around in the woods behind our house cleaning out the creek to make a better home for the fish.

…And how when my heart is murky and too full of other people’s business, I get in my car and drive. (For the time being..)

…And the curious fact I love silence more than changing it into something else; however beautiful, because it feels like a clean palette where anything could happen and often does.

Someone posed this question to me yesterday, that of: “Were you to be given the choice between JOY OR FREEDOM, which would you choose?”

It is a compelling question, is it not?

We, of the ‘less-than-fully-functional-physique-clan’ will likely take pause as we ponder this.

These two words may mean something quite different to us that the fully abled community.

I like it that the words feel almost from a different language to me.

Previous to the ‘PPMS visitation’, those words had a saccharine quality carrying the fragrance of our national identity as a land of plenty and more of it.

Now, as our world has changed and I have too, the words can be met again with a fresh heart.

They are worth revisiting, from my new body and new mind and reordered set of values.

But I’ll tell you a secret:

Freedom still tops the list for me.

But it wears different clothes.


2 Responses to “Joy or Freedom?”

  1. Laurene on December 30th, 2009

    “Joy drinks pure water. She has sat with the dying and attended many births. She denies nothing. She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow. She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon. She climbs mountains. She sings in the hills. She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.
    “Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient. She does not need to rush. She knows that there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment. She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.
    “At times Joy is elusive – she seems to disappear even as we approach her. I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous. I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet, she waits for us. Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her.”
    -J. Ruth Gendler, The Book of Qualities
    You remind me of Joy.

  2. Jacque on January 5th, 2010

    I am loving this site, shared with me by Gwen, my friend. Likely, everyone has some challenge, though not many are ready to admit it, or what it is they are challenged by. From where I stand, Freedom is Joy. Or Joy is Freedom. How could you choose between them? They intermingle. If I feel Joy, my spirit is free no matter my current circumstances. If I am free, I feel Joy.

    Thank you.

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