we rob banks

Last night I watched Bonnie & Clyde elegantly rob banks across the Depression-era American Southwest.  Two people looking for a way out of their circumstances and searching for freedom.  Each time I watch it I hope that they eat their pear and keep driving straight out of town.  After watching the movie I had a chat with my mom about expectations.  If we can let go of our expectations and those inevitable disappointments then there is freedom that lies clearly on the other side.  Lately my own search for freedom hasn’t led me to rob banks but to live in a way that is free of expectation.  I don’t know if that’s always a good thing.  Sometimes my nature likes to idealize and romanticize freedom and how one goes about achieving it.  Many years ago my mom bought me a book of Emily Dickinson’s Collected Poems.  I was perusing it this morning and opened to this,

XX

Could I but ride indefinite,
As doth the meadow-bee,
And visit only where I liked,
And no man visit me,

And flirt all day with buttercups,
And marry whom I may,
And dwell a little everywhere,
Or better, run away

With no police to follow,
Or chase me if I do,
Till I should jump peninsulas,
To get away from you, –

I said, but just to be a bee
Upon a raft of air,
And row in nowhere all day
Long,
And anchor off the bar, –
What liberty! So captives deem
Who tight in dungeons are.

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