Story #4 – To the Woman in Bondage

In my final semester under the Associate’s program, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I remembered the story I wrote at my office job. It’s a bit of a sexually explicit story, but the phrase that came out of it was ‘only in love can one be in bondage and still be free’.

I developed this collection during my Christmas visit home, and ultimately it became a juxtaposition between freedom and bondage (since that was the theme for our Associate’s thesis term garment).

It made me look at my own past as a Caribbean woman. My ancestors have a tragic story—they were stolen and captured from their homes in West Africa and taken to an unknown place where they were forced to be slaves, yet still, they maintained their strength, held on to their joy, and managed to overcome the situation they were thrown in. This strength eventually led to emancipation. The freedom we can now enjoy. I worked hard to create this thirty-look collection.

But the hardest thing to do was create the term garment. The problem was the professor I had didn’t quite care. He didn’t know how to guide me to making the best project I could put out, and he even berated me at one point because I told him I had to excuse myself from his class to look about my passport (I’m an international student so making sure my passport is up-to-date is crucial).

I remembered crying over this. There was a sense of hopelessness and heartache that came with putting out this term garment, but I did it anyway.

Thanks to my patternmaking professor (from the previous semester) and her help, I was able to not only complete my term garment in time, but I had a renewed hope for the end product. Despite the challenges, my term garment was selected to be a part of FITNYC’s AAS Exhibition.

That semester, I got my first 4.0 GPA. But the biggest take away was that I learned what true freedom was. True freedom isn’t something you can create. It’s something you have to become.

Heaven Smiles
Model: Nathalie Michel
Photographer: Nickay

Someone Frees You

While I was trying to put together my AAS portfolio, this came to me:

What is True Freedom?

True freedom comes from within. One cannot hope to find freedom in a place or within a person. One cannot hope to find freedom when they’ve achieved all their goals. One cannot even hope to find freedom when they have all that they could be given.

One chooses to be free. Freedom is a state of mind. It is found within the depths of our soul. Freedom remembers humility; freedom is servitude. Freedom is not a place where we can go, but rather, a place we should become. We don’t abide in freedom: freedom abides in us. Freedom is love. Freedom is truth. Freedom is sacrifice. Freedom can never leave: it can never disappear. Freedom is the state of all things.

Where there is hope, where there is joy, where there is peace, where there is love; there is freedom. Freedom cannot be defined by words, for we are the definition of freedom. We understand pain and sorrow; hopelessness and despair; thus, we understand the nature of freedom.

In bondage, we found hope. In shackles, we found love. In chains, we found joy. On plantations, we found promise. In despair, we found destiny. And within our hearts, we found freedom.

We broke the shackles, untied the ropes, united, and resisted. We became strong, we became power, we became freedom.

We found love…

…And only in love can we be in bondage and still be free.

This is freedom.

2 thoughts on “Story #4 – To the Woman in Bondage

  1. Wow! Beautiful! “Only in love can we be in bondage and be free”. Now I understand when Pauls said that we are no longer slaves to sin because having been set free from sin we become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6). Only in Christ, who loves us unconditionally, we can experience true freedom. Praise the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

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