Written By Lorraine K. McCall May 14, 2008
All rights reserved to Lorraine K. McCall. Copyrights 2008
The gaze of Mandela watched over her in her awakened moments and slumber. From the bed she slept in alone, she considered the 4 walls of his cell to awaken to what Robert E. Hayden described as “Freedom… this liberty…. this beautiful and terrible thing.” What made freedom terrible? The answer was simple yet somehow extremely complex to achieve. Freedom was terrible because it did not belong to everyone. Freedom was like this fast evolving door to the other side. With the quick questioning of one’s own timing, one could miss the opening opportunity to unload the burden they had been chained to for far too long. Slavery had changed and disguised its face even to the most conscious of men. The war between man’s potential to be free and enslavement was staged in his own understanding of I AM while not being conquered by dreams deferred or limitations set by boundaries designed by other men who failed to escape their own.
Freedom was terrible because men who believed themselves to possess wings could not hear anything below the vastness of sky and white clouds. It was woman who contorted herself into the Wind in which he proclaimed his love for but never realized that he grew heavy from dreaming. Her war was no different outside of she believed freedom was beautiful while she fought for idealism to be true. Only for freedom to become again terrible because she believed in man, and what did man believe in? No matter how many times she was instructed or life lessons would teach she should not expect, she gave to man what she wanted him to offer back. What made Freedom truly terrible? Man forgot Freedom was not found in the vastness of space in which he could materialize things that he controlled. Freedom was found and could only exist in the context of love as its foundation.
Gazing back at the eyes of Mandela, she considered death, its grave and the trumpeter who would play in its recognition to pay for Freedom. She imagined the sound to be soulful yet somehow sweet in taste as it escaped the life that released it. Man was finite in his belief that death was the opposite of life versus birth. In turn he struggled in his attempt to live freely, fiercely, and fearlessly because he knew not how give birth to himself after dying.
Who would save his soul? Unknowingly Mandela knew not she thought of him and what he considered his truth to be in the face of nothing was new under the sun for any man. His people were still fighting for Freedom but she questioned whether he had raised his white flag in quiet surrender. Mandela was not the only one who surrender to the instruction of others. There was Eldrige Cleaver in his non-threatening announcement of being "Christian" as a guest on the TV show Tell The Truth. Huey P. Newton's surrender to a dream deferred via the use of drugs. Conscious men fighting for the serenity believed to be found in peace and freedom. None of which is right or wrong and why judge men who utilized their fighting spirits for the betterment of circumstances of their communities. But the trumpeter still plays at the foot of the open grave because many Black men will die unknowingly never to experience the true embrace of freedom.