On the Quest for Freedom

If seeing is believing, then
The flicker has my faith obscured:
Though beaming is its light to men,
To dazzle too its gloom’s inured.
Shall then the flame be doused again—
As though the dark can blindness cure
And answers to the mystery pen?


Colin Lee


An exactly 44-word piece on prompt word “flicker” for dVerse’s Quadrille #36 (concurrently the pub’s 6th anniversary), to sum up my pondering over the recent circumstances.

Photo Courtesy: alphacoders.com

41 thoughts on “On the Quest for Freedom

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  1. “Shall then the flame be doused again—
    As though the dark can blindness cure”

    There indeed are those who feel that liberty… the U.S.’s or anywhere else… needs the alloy of… many ideologically bankrupt philosophies and restrictive controls. I don’t know if that is what you had in mind when you wrote this, but that is the filters through which I read it colored the words. I see this as part of the chicken coop series of poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You read it pretty much the way I wrote it, Charley. To be honest, I was reflecting on quite a few current affairs — US, UK, Japan, Poland and Hong Kong. Departure from the spirit of social progress, I think, can manifest in a number of ways: on the rational side, which you mentioned, it can be in the philosophies (both top-down and bottom-up) and restrictive controls; on the sentimental side, it can be the change of national identity (to un-belong oneself) or the withdrawal of trust from the establishment and the people, at the despairing nadir of which one might begin to wish to remain in the dark and see no evil.

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    1. The news is depressing indeed, especially as it feeds on our appetite for the depressive. This reminds me of an Anne Murray’s song … “We sure could use a little good news today.” Thank you for your comment, Victoria. Yes, we’ll come through … like we did with the Cold War, Ireland, etc …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So many ideas to ponder from your words here…..especially when coupled with the photo of the Statue of Liberty.
    Liberty — interesting to put that word juxtaposed to your post here.
    “If seeing is believing, then
    The flicker has my faith obscured:”
    THESE words…..I find it so very hard to “keep the faith” during these political times in the US. When the Statue of Liberty has promised so many of our grandparents the ability to chase their dreams….and where is that torch today?
    Is it but a flicker that remains in what is called “the resistance”? Powerful words you’ve writ here that causes the reader to move further into thought. And, after all, that is what we hope for right? That our words will create some connectivity with readers? As you can see from comments….and my reply here….your words have spurred further thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few comments indeed … and yours was one that I was particularly hoping for! So jolly kind of you to take the time and delve into my musing. I supplemented this poem with the statue because of what the torch symbolises, not specifically prompted by the politics of America (nor of France, where it’s made). As Jilly and I exchanged on my previous post, all around the world are different challenges, but at the end the battle is one and the same. Regardless of our different agendas, we’re all striving to balance between the idyllic and realistic, the virtuous and compromised, and, above all such flickering, to keep the faith. And like kindling a fire, it takes more than a single log to keep the campfire burning through the night, especially amidst the howling of gales and splatters of rain … we need one another and this very connectivity. So, thank you, truly, for taking the time to nurture this young soul hoping to catch on the light and heat in the dark.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Much to ponder here and on many different levels. Perhaps darkness is best framed in it’s relation to light and by embracing our collective darkness we might ‘feel’ lighter. Reality bites though and I find that acceptance of the plight is required for any sense of peace to take hold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Paul. I appreciate its depth. I agree the acceptance of the plight is inevitable, whether in the light or in the dark. On the light/darkness relation, I guess one way of questioning this is if it has to be take-it-or-leave-it. While we need to recover our clarity from the dazzle, do we have to douse the hope or look away altogether? Either way, I’m leaving this open for interpretation and answer — as I can’t settle on one myself. Reality does bite, and perhaps more painfully in the light too!


      1. Good questions Colin. I think I have reached a point where I am accepting that we are not going to change collectively. We are in free fall and not about to pull up before we hit the ground. So what remains? Give up living or enjoy the flight. Gonna hit the ground either way 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A very thoughtful quadrille Colin..the times are definitely perplexing, change rattling myths and assumptions and as we live within it, it is sometimes hard to know whether we hurdle towards disaster, transformation or both

    Liked by 1 person

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