Monday, December 29, 2014

Fly Your Freak Flag (Or is it Your Freedom Flag?)

When I was in my awkward tween years I had a hippie-dippie taste in music. I was drawn like a moth to a flame to Janis Joplin.  Not a particularly pretty woman, her style was random, her hair was ratty looking, but when I would listen to her music, my soul would ache and I would belt out the tunes right along with my worn copy of her greatest hits album.  To this day, her songs still make me feel really freakin' good. You can tell she probably felt good singing them too.  Her voice was loud and hoarse.  It seemed like there wasn't anything left in her soul to sing or air in her lungs to exhale.   

Does that make her a freak or truly free?

I attend church almost every Sunday.  A Congregationalist church, where people sometimes raise their hands and yell things, like “Praise God!  Or “Yes, yes!” after the preacher makes a poignant point.  At first it made me uncomfortable, but now I don’t think twice.  Currently, I feel uncomfortable when I drive by people on the sidewalk holding poster boards that say “Jesus is coming soon, prepare.” I think, am I prepared? and then I wonder what was the impetus for their poster board holding....

.. And am I really that far removed from that place?

I have two tattoos.  They are in fairly discrete places that can be hidden by socks or clothing.  I love them. I want more.  I recently met a mother at church in the playroom and she had a sleeve tattoo.  I enviously gabbed with her about the meaning of the designs and where she got them and if people judged her for her body art.  I daydream about getting more ink on my arm (gasp – in a visible place), but I don’t do it. I convince myself it's not practical.  Then in the next breath I don’t want to live in discrete mode anymore. 

What makes people take the leap from strategically placed-tattoos to ones that are visible ?  Furthermore, what makes it necessary to hide them? 

Kids are free spirited and no one thinks twice !
What is the difference between the toe tappers, handraisers, Jesus-preaching posterboard holders and sleeve-tattoed people?  Not too much, unbridled conviction?  

What makes people choose to fly their “freak flags?” Or are they really freedom flags?   I think it’s because they are confident with their lives and themselves and therefor have "nothing left to lose."   That is my hope for the new year: To fly my freak/freedom flag more frequently. 

What’s your hope for the New Year?

1 comment:

  1. I've wanted a tatoo for the longest time. It takes courage to fly your freak flag. I don't think I'm there yet!