Having lived in different places made me realize that people are basically the same everywhere. Cultural and time zone differences aside, we are the same people wherever we are.
If there’s freedom of speech in Jackson, MS., then there’s the freedom of privacy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. If there’s material freedom in Jeddah, then there’s freedom of solitude in Jatibarang, Central Java.
Whether I wake up in Jatibarang or Jeddah or Jackson, whatever cultural, social and material choices a place can give, at core, I remain the same. I still wake up as Hning here and there. I still start my mornings with coffee and Chopin. I’d still fall back to writing and meditation.
And that is all the freedom I need from the world, you know? Whether I can go out or not, whether I can work or speak or cause riots, whether the rest of the day brings crazy or lonely, my freedom is the consistency of rituals. Rituals that anchor gratefulness and engage the Silence.
Everything else are just auxiliaries.