On “Freedom” (My 2015 InCoWriMo 5 of 28)

 

Hello A,

Greetings from Australia. Sorry that I have not written to you for more than two years. I wonder if you still remember me? I kind of hope that you are still there to receive this letter. However, I also hope you are no longer there – that you have left “in a good way” and are now pursuing a happy life somewhere out there.

The past two years have been very tough for me, which is why I did not write. I want my letters to bring you happy thoughts, but I guess any news is better than no news. Sorry.

This evening I saw an interview on TV, about an Australian journalist called Peter Greste, who had just arrived home after being imprisoned in Egypt for 400 days. He and two colleagues were reporting on various events when they were arrested and accused of helping the terrorists in that country. Without people worldwide continuously calling for the Egyptian Government to release him, he would have been sentenced to seven years in jail.

On TV they showed footage of his happy reunion with family, friends and colleagues, who have been tirelessly calling for every individual, group, society and government they could think of to help. They also showed a photo of him standing knee-deep in water on the beach of Cyprus, as a stopover during his long flight from Egypt back to Australia. On his face was the biggest smile I have ever seen on anybody. He said it felt incredibly good after 400 days of imprisonment, 400 dark nights of always wondering whether there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, always worrying how his loved ones would cope, yet always trying to maintain positive and strong. Obviously he associates freedom with the blue sky, the sandy beach and the green, vast ocean. After all, he is an Aussie.

I used to associate freedom with birds, back in my youthful days when words such as “worry” and “sorrow” made no sense. To me, back then, the word “freedom” was taken for granted. It was an existence so “natural” that no one bothered to find out who did and did not have it and why. However, as time went by, I slowly came to realize that “freedom” exists as a concept only when it ceases to exist. People will never know what “freedom” is unless they have experienced its loss, emotionally, physically, intellectually, or even spiritually.

I am not saying I completely understand how you feel. Indeed, I practically know nothing at all about your life there. Still, even though I have not been writing, I think of you often and every time I do so I wish you a tiny bit of joy, peace and warmth in a place so full of fury, chaos and hostility. I wish you a glimpse of light in the dark side of the moon.

I will continue to write, in the hope that you will eventually forgive me and start responding again. Even better, I hope that one day you will write to me from a different address – something that seems unlikely but never absolutely impossible.

Please take care. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely Yours,

C.

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