Freedom – #AtoZChallenge

Apr 9, 2021 | Creativity & Inspiration

“Freedom is a state of mind, I said wondering where I’d heard it before, not a state of being. We are all slaves to gravity and morality and the vicissitudes of nature. Our genes govern us much more than we’d like to think. Our bodies can not know absolute freedom but our minds can, can at least try.”

― Walter Mosley, Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel

To have an active imagination is to always be free. It also enables us to enlarge our happiness and exaggerate our fears. From moment to moment, we make choices – whether to focus on the positive or to dwell on the negative. Both these things are always present, always waiting, always screaming, “Pick me! Pick me!” Never forget the parable of the two wolves. Nourish the good to bring more of it your way.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” My mother once said, “Don’t let your possessions possess you.” Seems to me, that’s what Janis is singing about – and in the end, we can’t “possess” one another, either.

But having said that, it’s not a bad thing to trade a little “freedom” for love, family, and home.

“And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone”

Senseless conventions and expectations of strangers, on the other hand… Let’s just say that this is the only life we’re guaranteed, so we ought to make the most of it and allow others the freedom to do the same. Short of hurting others, we should all want to break free of the traditions that don’t serve us well.

“I want to break free…”

Now, tell me, in the comments – aside from the word freedom, what do these three videos have in common?


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Bob Jasper

    Oh, I hate those darned pop quizzes! All have solo vocalists. Also, all are songs from the 70s. Love it that you are doing the A to Z challenge. I haven’t been following closely so I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up or not. I missed a few days of the April Poem-a-day challenge. Learned about a new poetic form today, but haven’t gotten around to trying the Sestina, yet. Still studying the form and examples. Might take a while to get my head wrapped around it. One could say that you have to give up a lot of poetic freedom to write some types of poetry, but I love the rigor imposed. I like challenges and having rules to follow. I agree, we have to give up some freedom to enjoy life to the max. As with most things in life, finding that happy balance that puts us in the groove provides meaning and enjoyment.
    Bob Jasper recently posted…Cannot Love Prevail?My Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      ROFL! None are the original; all are covers. Two are covers performed WITH some of the original artists.

      I would argue that you don’t so much have to “give up creative freedom” as you have to work harder and be more creative within the constraints of the form. Think architecture; there are rules of physics, engineering and construction and there are ways to work with and around them, but never to completely escape them. To say that formal verse requires giving up freedom is, I think, a little lazy. But to say, “I really hate this particular form – I cannot write it well” is fair, once you’ve tried it more than once. I’m not overly fond of the villanelle, personally, and I think most modern haiku writers are amateurish if not downright lazy – they think because the form itself is short and simplistic, that the thoughts expressed by it can be, too. There’s a lot more to haiku than three lines of 5-7-5 syllables. I love sonnets, personally. But another thing to consider, about poetic forms, is the language from which they originate. I don’t think English is always well suited, in meter or rhyme, to forms originating in other languages, do you? Why would they be?

      There’s also nothing wrong with inventing forms. All of them were invented by someone, eh?

  2. Bob Jasper

    Forgot to say thanks for the trip down memory lane with those 3 songs. I did not know or had forgotten a) that Janis Joplin died at age 27 (OD’d on heroin) in 1970 the year my daughter was born, and b) that “Me and Bobby McGee” was released posthumously that year.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      You’re welcome, Bob! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      ROFL! None are the original; all are covers. Two are covers performed WITH some of the original artists.


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