I was at the Hallmark store on Sunday and admiring the Peanuts display when I saw a little snippet of a Walt Whitman poem. Peanuts caught my eye as I am a fan of the cartoon, and relate so well to different characters there. My hair is naturally curly when I let it grow out, I want to believe in the Great Pumpkin, and I have a blanket that a comfort. It was given by a friend and it’s super soft and warm. Anyway, amidst the Snoopy and Lucy displays, Walt Whitman made an appearance. It was just a morsel, a fragment of a larger poem. The words, scripted in blank ink italics, said “From this hour, freedom! From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.” It’s from Song of the Open Road and continues on with the poem.
I just loved the images in the words; they just popped in my brain like little kernels of ideas. Loos’d of limits and imaginary lines. Am I loos’d, do I see myself free? As much as I would probably like to say yes, I’m going to say no. I’m aware of the imaginary lines, most of us run into them every once in a while. The people goo we step in without being aware that it is there. Imaginary lines exist on maps, not just of the international variety but of the local as well. And what is freedom? Freedom is not going your own way and being completely heedless of everyone else. That is slavery to self and selfishness. Freedom is serving, is giving, and is consideration. It’s not being a door mat; it’s not being someone that people wipe their feet on.
I think I need to pay closer attention to the imaginary lines and limits in my life. Some of those should probably be loos’d.