What is the origin of freedom? Where is the origin of freedom? Are you free? Am I free? Is freedom a place? A space? A feeling? A frame of mind? Is it something? Or is it nothing–the absence of restrictions? Therefore the something we feel when we arrive at freedom is actually the feeling of nothing? Now, isn't that something?
When I looked up the word "free," there were 36 different definitions.
A mathematics definition caught my eye.
Free. (Of a vector) Having specified magnitude and direction but no specific initial point.
I suppose this out of the 36 definitions caught my eye because although I have always been terrible at math, this is an idea that at times, has summed me up.
This idea that I knew where I wanted to go, had the insatiable appetite for it, but had no idea how to start cooking. But whereas I used to think that the footing would grant me the meal and therefore the freedom, according to this definition, it would only take me further from it.
It makes me go on to think about the expectations we create that we think will grant us freedom. It's the "Once I..." trap.
Once I make a certain amount of money, I will be free...
Once I I have more time, I will be free to...
Once I start or end this relationship, I will be free...
But mathematics tells us that freedom is in the place where we don't know where to start.
It's not the consequence for which we arrive at after we do x, y, and z, it's not at the end, it's at the start. It's the ambivalence of the beginning that carries all of the weight and none of the weight.
Now, this is what mathematics tells us but like I said, I was never really good at math. So do I subscribe to this idea? I'm not so sure.
Typically for me, the most constricting part of the journey is often at the beginning, getting started. But perhaps I am seeing that there is true freedom in decoding where to plant your feet and which path to tread. Maybe to begin to think of freedom as a starting point rather than a destination, I might cut myself a break that the thing I am working towards is the thing that is already in the palm of my hands, already in the veins of my thoughts, already so much of who I am.
All of these photos were taken from the back of a scooter in Lombok, Indonesia.
I always find freedom in shooting while moving. There is something thrilling about capturing moments that are flying past you.