The First Freedom

The freedom to move

The Kaaba during COVID

You can go anywhere you want. The world is yours. You never have to go to jail. No animal should be caged. We are denied our freedom by violence, but it is nonetheless there. You can feel it now. Freedom is in the air.

Just put your hand out and try to move. The air lets you. It gives way. Go for a walk and the Earth lets you. The ground moves beneath your feet. All of us can move something, even if it's just a tongue, an eyelid, or a mind. This is the meaning of being alive.

It has been this way for millions of years, since we started walking upright. It has been this way for 200 million years, since we were rats dodging dinosaurs. It has been this way since were were clumps of cells, moving to the light. For nearly 4 billion years.

Private property, fences, barbed wire, guns, cages, chains—these are all an evolutionary fart in the wind. We have been free much longer than we've been oppressed. We are born free all the time. A few of us, very few of us, still are. Michelle Lot is someone trying to live free. She is a homeless leader in Berkeley. She said something that touched me:

“My happiness is to use the wind, the water, and the sun to fulfill my needs, yet I can’t find a spot that the government tells me I’m not trespassing on. But I’m an Earthling,” says Michelle.

This is true, this is so earthly true. How did this happen? How did we come to believe the land had invisible lines on it? It's fucking absurd. We are all Allah's children. We are all God's children. We are all somebody's child. We are all born on this green Earth, and we are all born free.