To what, exactly, did I raise this flag? There was no end of freedom in sight, and while I thought at first that freedom was the ultimate goal, I found it mostly to be an excuse.

This flag, this bright banner of independent words, this standard stood for my own irrevocable pride of mind. I flew assertions overhead and dared people to disagree.

I could not help but go to war, once I had a stance in mind. And each interaction became a skirmish, not full fledged, but hedged in the possibility of battle, every time.

I waged my freedom over each encounter, or took the liberty of backing out, blowing off, staying home. My special circumstances, calling for emergency measures.

So serious, this business of freedom. And it is true, if you set no standards then someone else will impose them upon you. Yet still, to use an ideal as excuse to bully reality

is cowardice. I refused to work with anyone, where they were. If they could not meet me in the elevated space, then I would not let them engage me at all. Or remind them

of their tendency to disappoint. What use is this? None at all. My freedom spoiled me. Other realms of being exist than freedom. Exist without flags, without notice given,

without the need to inflict or insist. So what if I surrender my right to freedom, and let the world as it is impose its needs upon me? What if I give up the flag of my own self

and hope to become a part, a piece, one bit of a whole ecosystem, that isn’t insisting on freedom, but working toward symbiosis instead? This kind of surrender, calls us all.