Memorial Day here in the States. It conjures thoughts of soldiers and summer, cool water and stone monuments. And since Memorial Day is about freedom, it makes me think about the relationship between freedom and memory.
‘Memorial’ brings to mind dark, fixed, and nearly immutable things, like granite or brass. It evokes loss and death, stasis and oppression.
‘Memory’ has a somewhat lighter feel, more ephemeral. But still it’s entrenched in the past, an unchanging place, a source of bonds and tethers.
Freedom, on the other hand, concerns itself with the present and the future. Freedom is about vision, forethought, and light.
But freedom and memory have much in common. The word ‘memory’ comes from roots meaning variously, ‘mind’, ‘madness’, ‘prophet’, and ‘seer.’
Ultimately, memory and freedom are both about choice. Freedom is a state of mind, a choice that we make with every breath.
Memory too, is a choice. We can allow memory to be the monster of our subconscious, driving us toward madness. Or we can choose to make memory vibrant and empowering. We can refashion it into a harbinger of our future, a vehicle for positive change.
So grab those pieces of memory that enslave you, transform them, and free yourself. Use them as tools to create the life that you want. Understand hardships endured as evidence of your resilience. Select memories that give you wing. Choose your perspective so that it moves you in freedom.
Embrace the freedom that begins within, and in so doing honor all those who fought for freedom. It’s the least you can do – for yourself and for them.
© 28 May 2012 Isabella Darling. All rights reserved. Images as attributed.