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Freedom of Speech

Posted 27/11/2016

Freedom of Speech


Scream. All I want to do is to scream. I need to scream out loud. I need to scream as loud as I can, at the top of my lungs until my vocal chords vibrate and until I will lose my breath and my voice. But still, I am crying silently, trying to hide my tears, not disturbing anybody with my emotions, although there is no one here. It’s just me and the stormy sea that seems to tell me how patient, yet unforgiving it is. I absorb the peace, the total absence of other human beings. While trying to calm my breathing, I listen to the thunder of every wave and I imagine that it would carry my unheard voice, that it would tell you how deeply hurt I am, how destroyed I feel, how helpless.

Another crash reaches the shore, another one, even louder, follows, and I am still watching intently. Every white crest seems to carry my pain and my rage, until the wave suddenly crashes against the groynes and the formerly white crest evaporates as if it never existed. But my feelings still exist; they are transferred to the next, even higher wave with an even bigger crest on top. They still need to hit their wooden barrier.

The next rolling thunder is accompanied by the piercing shriek of a sea gull. Its white and grey wings soar above my head as if the bird did not have a care in the world but flying. I envy it and follow its flight with my eyes, completely ignoring the following waves and their resemblance to my disturbed emotions.

Why is the gull able to scream and I am not? What does it have that I don’t? Maybe it would be better to be an animal, guided only by instinct and not by emotions. Maybe life would be easier then. Maybe too much thinking just complicates things for humans. A small greyish-white feather floats through the air and mesmerises me. How would it be to fly totally carefree?

Another crash wakes me out of my reverie. I have to have courage, otherwise I will implode and feathers won’t be the only thing I will lose then. I am not just a sea gull, I am a human being with intelligence, someone who can think and reflect. What the beast is capable of doing, I will manage as well. I will finally raise my voice, I will definitely scream out loud, I will unburden me. Another rolling wave and its crashing arrival seem to stress my resolution.

I step onto one of the stakes, feeling its slippery surface just beneath my shoes. At once, I am afraid, I think of giving up, of defeat and retreat. But the gull above is still flying, thus faltering is not a real option. Mustering up all my strength, I try to balance my feet on two stakes and with some difficulty, I manage. Momentarily forgetting my purpose, I am glad I made it this far. But a shriek by my animalistic friend overhead reminds me of my original aim. Another shriek announces that it has found something of interest. It dives fast and deep, emerging with a small fish in its beak. Apparently satisfied, the gull sits down at the far end of the groynes. The look from its black eyes seems to challenge me to move on. So I do, slowly but steadily. My resolve is my companion that keeps me going on. At one point, I realise that when I slip and fall now, I will have to plunge into icy cold water, so I will probably drown and die. Nevertheless, I won’t turn around now, I reached the point of no return, I came that far, I have to continue.

At last, I reach the last stake, the gull having flown away some time ago as if to congratulate me on my will power. I take a deep breath, tasting the saltiness of the air and I scream. I scream out loud. I scream as loud as I can, at the top of my lungs until my vocal chords vibrate and until I lose my breath and my voice. And finally, I feel freed.