The Art of Liberation

river bennett ( art + photography river bennett)


What is this deep longing? This ache that hides beneath the busyness and boring conversations.

The throb that pounds quietly, rhythmically, deep inside you and never seems to disappear?

It has you searching for nature and mountains and travels far away.

You can smell it when the rain pours down and hits the dry earth.

You can see it when the sun slowly glides beyond the hilltops, feel it as your fingers slide through the warm fur of an animal and you watch it’s lungs fill with air.

It can be a tortuous experience, waiting for the opportunity for it to surface - like waiting for the Chance card in a game of Monopoly that sends you ‘directly to Go’ to collect your $200.

Sometimes life can be a machine-like existence – we are constantly being dictated to by the media telling us what to believe, the latest fashion-gurus telling us what we should wear, and the latest TV reality shows telling us how life is meant to be lived.

There are constant voices, constant interruptions, constant activity . . and that longing deep inside each of us hungers for peace. For space. For truth.

Do you ever find yourself, like a child, imagining that the paintings on your wall held the kind of magic that could transport you from your present location into other worlds that they depict – like the world of Narnia the children discovered in the wardrobe? If only you could be whisked away to snowy forests and Turkish Delight . . .

You long to see the hidden things revealed. Exposed. Real, ready to touch.

I believe it’s the desire for Liberation – to be set free from limitations, to enjoy being free to explore things for myself, and to make choices about life.

I’ve come to believe that the art of Being Present demands creating a void in my life in order to experience this freedom - a space where I can discover Truth about myself, about others, and about the world around me.

I want to experience the freedom of being myself without the constraints of other people’s opinions. I want to liberate myself from Comparison – that thief that seeks to lure me onto a different path, that endeavours to conform me to some image other than my true self.

I want to be free to love the things I truly love, unhindered by trend or market value, and to learn to love others unconditionally.

I want to discover who you are for myself, and not be influenced by what others have told me about you.

I want time and space to consider what I truly believe about life, what I accept as truth, what I choose as values to live by.

This space, this freedom, also gives me time to reflect on those who have invested into my life, those who have gone before, run this life-race and who have now handed the baton on to me. Family history, my heritage – my running mates.

There is much to learn from the past that can help me grow in the present, and set goals for the future. I want to capture those things that matter, study them – those intricate details of humanity that create joy and wonder, that share lessons from challenges won and lost, and those things that will spur me on to become a person who is content with who she is.

I want also to think beyond the ‘now’, and prepare for the future, for eternity. My desire is that this present life of mine will count for something significant in the next.

If there is one thing that I want to do this year, it is to satisfy this longing for Liberation by learning to live more within this freedom of wide, open spaces.

I’m excited about the possibilities that are awaiting me. I am excited about the possibilities that are awaiting you.







Special thanks to Olivia Rohonczy and Monique Parker for your help in making this stunning video. (Lyrics by Solange )