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Breaking Free - Introduction

April 2021

Having only recently removed myself, and my life, from bubble-wrap, I am eagerly breaking free of habits and patterns of thought that I’d thought would never end. It all begins with the right attitude.

The right attitude can easily begin with spring — and hopefully won’t end there! This sweet and sunny time of year received magnificent and sufficient literary attention from Alfred Tennyson in his “Locksley Hall” poem of 1835: In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove; In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Love is the both the act of and the reward for breaking free from errors of the past. Spring can then bring so many bubbles of hope and whispers of joy! Breaking free is being able to reach back into the past — and touch and see and hear the pages of history, real history, as if yesterday is today, and today is tomorrow. The present moment is, in itself, a vast vista to make all your own. That bold step toward today is what life is all about, breaking free from the moments that did not quite arrive at your doorstep, and going forth to seize them for yourself.

The essays in this section echo from the past, and from my past, even as they aspire toward that mystical, profound yet undeniable sense of love, and life, known by the French as déjà vu. Things already seen are seen again, for the first time. That sensibility is born of living life to its fullest; it is love that never dies. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart composed this show tune in 1937 for Babes in Arms that captures the experience lyrically and melodically: “Where or When”. The title appears to be concerned with place and time; but the feelings expressed in the song are, in fact, timeless. Regardless of the season or the year, the moments of today can euphorically live forever — once the heart has broken free of doubt, fear, sorrow and regret. A writer yearns to break free of many things in order to create today from the images of yesterday. Anyone, however, can feel inspired, once again, by the yesterdays that have lived long enough to aspire toward tomorrow. Some might say that breaking free of doldrums is creativity of the highest order, and I’d fully agree.


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