Looking Free

The prompt for NPM21 scavenger hunt is to write a Magic 9 poem on the topic of slavery, freedom, or manumission. So a Magic 9 poem is a 9 line poem with the rhyme scheme of abacadaba. There is no required meter and no line length requirements. As for the topic, manumission is the act of freeing a slave. The word manu comes from the Latin for hand and mittere means to send from. So it is basically releasing from your hand something held tightly. This one can be interpreted in several ways but there is such a thing as a divorce decree as well as an emancipation decree….

From your hand set me free
I’ve worked hard and paid my debt
I served you well you will agree
Discharged my duties without complaint
Release me at once not by degree
Your promise keep I beg you do
Sign the paper make the decree
No more waiting to make me sweat
Put an end to my slavery

I’ve noticed that there are more people who enter into agreements that make them indentured servants (which is a fancy term for voluntary enslavement). I see it daily. Every time someone starts to smoke or vape or chew tobacco they are entering into a relationship which enslaves them. They are now at the beck and call of nicotine. Soon they will be unable to walk away and their new master will control their every movement. They will avoid restaurants, leave grocery stores before completing their shopping, have to excuse themselves from church, even leave the dinner table to get another dose of nicotine. Others enter slavery to drugs or alcohol. They will abandon friends, family, jobs, even their homes on the orders of their master. Of course this is an extreme. There are lesser masters and easier slave drivers – the slavery to fashion, peer pressure, work demands, dieting and debt. But the easiest enslavement? Love. Hands down. Why else would you be compelled to change a diaper? Help maintain a household? Cook? Love makes those chores much less onerous. I suppose my cleaning and clearing of closets is my feeble effort to throw off the shackles of consumerism. What are you a slave to?

50 thoughts on “Looking Free

  1. Right now it feels like we are a slave to the truck. We are both burned out and it is not getting better when you have 24 hours of hometime before the boss expects you to go again. And your not asked what your preferences are.

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    1. Ack! That’s no good! I thought that by switching companies you were going to have a better deal… I guess that plan to be independent is going to be a priority!

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  2. ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND

    Thanks, as usual so very well said, and some of what you mention may be summed up under MIND ENSLAVEMENT. With the list of idiomatic expressions being endless. But the outstanding ones we mostly see today is that of Government, Religion, Big Business and Egotists. We are all potential victims because they prey on the gullible, egotistical, and generally weak minded. Take the Television, those adds and expressions are trying enslave our minds into their product, party, or hate movement, often with pseudo love messages.

    But to me the one that is most elusive is the use in our faith in God. They will tell you that if you do not follow their way of LOVE/HATE and BIGOTRY, often expressed as a mendacious statement of Gods Love, expressing that you are not normal if you do not follow their way. Once under that spell you can get deeper and deeper into their power. It is sad that this is one manumission that we ourselves must work toward, because we are all victims in one way or another of this servitude and the best way to free ourselves is open minded questions, discussions, and just say NO until we are sure we are following the right path.

    Here are a few major subjects we follow today: “Our Presidency was stolen”, “Covid and those injections are a fake”, “Supremacists of the white or any other race, color, nationality, political party, or religion is a God given right”.

    Sorry to preach but by using an open questioning mind, we must attempt to COME TOGETHER, not in one thought, race, religion, party, city, state, or even nation, but as ONE PEOPLE working together for the common good, freedom and well being of all. It may seem impossible but it can be improved~!

    The pseudo finger pointing must end~!

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    1. All good points. I think the key is education on a wide array of topics including religion and politics and government. No one talks about altruism anymore and I’d gather that many have never heard of that concept…

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  3. Digging the magic 9 piece.
    Send a prayer for us addicted ones. Please understand, there is a reason for the addiction or self-medication. For some of us, that meant a choice between a mental hospital (cue another prompt) and their drugs, or our own.

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    1. Kim I’m tickled that the Magic 9 has caught your imagination… As for addictions, there are those that control the person and those that are controlled by the person. My husband is addicted to caffeine but he controls it and it makes my life easier when he is caffeinated. Self-medication affords some modicum of control as well. Prayers for you and all who struggle…

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  4. Hoarding I think is one of the worst mental illnesses you can imagine. To turn ones home into a pig sty to the point you are hurting yourself is one that is far for me to understand. Those of us left with it are not immune to some of the comments and judgement of others.

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    1. Yes hoarding is a mental illness and can be terrible to live with (for all involved). My BIL/SIL are dealing with her mother’s home. She passed a couple of months ago after having to go to a rehab facility after a fall. They are trying to sort and clear the house so that they can prepare it for sale. It is a tough job. There is so much – some very valuable things and then all the newspapers and cereal boxes that she couldn’t bear to part with… The family (Sparky and I included) have volunteered to assist once they are ready to start the clean out. Many hands will make light the work.

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  5. great poem but your discussion afterwards and how its engaged by you readers is priceless Val! So many of us need to recognise that we are indeed enslaved!

    As I read your poem I wondered if some wives could use a decree to set them free … they are enslaved by conformity, not love. They married and are so miserable …

    I’ve had some bad habits, boys bikes coffee but now I’m enslaved to waking up each morning to find new ways to support others 🙂

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    1. Thanks Kate! I am thrilled that this one got your grey matter sparking! Self awareness comes with a price and many are willing to live in ignorance instead of facing the choices they’ve made. Some forms of slavery are an easy yoke. I think you set a wonderful example! Supporting others benefits them and you! A double win!!

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  6. The older I get, the more I realize that we are slaves to our physical bodies. They demand more and more attention: nourishment, exercise, rest, hygiene, general medical maintenance. All of these take more time than ever before. Heck, when we were young, we didn’t give a thought to putting on a pair of shoes. Now I have to decide whether I’ve limbered up enough to bend over, is my balance up to the task of standing on one foot, should I sit on the bed, or just go with the slip-ons.

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    1. You made me laugh! I took my mother clothes shopping a couple years ago when she was only 85 or so and her crowing pride was that she could put on and take off her slacks without losing her balance. I hope that I do as well at her age!

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  7. This is a true challenge: I am probably most enslaved to tending to others’ needs, before my own. Having a finite amount of money has made emancipation from such a condition a lot easier.

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    1. I think some forms are beneficial as caring about other and for others provides a community of love that as long as no one is harmed (monetarily bled dry) can only increase the love in this broken world. That said, parasites should be eliminated….

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      1. Sadly many marriages end. It is a traumatic experience and the unwillingness of one party to release the other only prolongs the misery… I hope you have been able to put that behind you!

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          1. Oh, no! That has got to suck! Sorry you have to deal with that, Val. For me, it’s about being “cradled”, one for my head, one for my arms (on both sides when I flip to the other side) and one for my knees. 🙂

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                1. I had a coworker who slept with not one by two body pillows in addition to 5 others… There was barely enough room in the bed for her husband! (I think that was part of her plan!)

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