• Dian Loh

DRAFT #0003

Updated: Jan 2

A writing exercise on the personalization of freedom. This is freedom as a person, as an object, as an action, as something other than its traditional dictionary definition--a practice in freeing myself from my expectations, from external judgement and from my mind.

I am a warrior. I can run on hot sand and ride with the wind and let the mountains carry the indignation in my voice. I can live for the electrifying rush of collision, for the thrill of the win, for the blood and the triumph and the scream of fireworks in the night. I can partake in all the battles in the world, swinging from royal dreadnoughts to naval drifters, a meliorist out to save mankind from itself. My courage always comes with a cost. The fire-eyed only fight to combat injustice and the noble only spend to save the world.

I am a kind, invisible guard in a greyscale prison where the stone blocks are so high you can barely see the Sun. I keep the people smiling, I sustain their hope. My presents come in the form of praise and promises, in the hidden pieces of bread past dawn, in the extra servings of porridge on a cold winter’s night. They sing my songs when solitude grants them the time to do so. They march to the beat of my heart when the warden turns tyrannical and patience is reduced to rage. There is a world past these ironclad gates and my eyes tell them that they will soon see it. There is a world past these concrete walls and it is I who will smile and wave and whisper “godspeed” when these believers move past beyond them.

I am a woman in a car, speeding down a highway. There is gold in my hair and melted sugar on my tongue and I may be miles away from anywhere but God, I feel so very alive. My blue cotton sundress slips and slides and rides up my thighs and I must have what seems like thousand magazines and half-read books in the backseat. The air is cold and my arms are bare and the stereo is blasting Taylor Swift and I don’t stop singing along. My tea is ice-cold and my pastries are warm, wrapped in glittery waxed paper. A handmade pashmina rests on the back of the carseat and my mother sits in the one beside me. The road before me leads to the mountains; the road before me leads to love; the road before me leads to city — I am a woman and I go wherever I wanna go.

Find more of Dian's work on social media @tokyo.di