…[L]et yourself be.

For the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture at the PEN festival, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke about censorships: colonial, societal, self… A nuanced firebrand, she made one think; her definition of self-censorship included not just the holding back of speech based on audience, but also the disallowing of oneself to do something based on a pre-set plan. In this regard, she suggested:

“You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.”

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun 

I like this challenge. Like the plants in the garden, I hope we can all surpass limitations borne of adversity – whether an earthquake, an accident, or a harsh winter – and grow free.






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