On the Loose

I don’t know what it is about something being “on the loose” that cracks me up (with the exception of a crazed lunatic or similar, naturally), but something about the phrase tickles my funny bone.

I picture something or someone going rogue, going a little bit off course in the name of either thumbing their nose at convention, or just because a wild hair was located — a wild hair that needed satisfying (or perhaps plucking).

It’s a phrase that’s right up there with “on the fritz” for me. And, wow, if something was both on the loose and on the fritz? Watch out. Serious funny bone tickling.

On the loose implies a sense of freedom. It implies that one is not confined to a set of rails, to four walls, to a clearly marked path or to a set of rules or guidelines. One is not held to a page of checkboxes, a sheet of do’s and don’ts, expectations or responsibility.

To some, this may be the life to pursue. Others may relish a little bit of the leash, albeit a forgiving and fairly long one.

If being on the loose is a bit too footloose and fancy-free for you, might I offer up its cousin — on the move?

For me, “on the move” implies motion, but perhaps with some beneficial [read: looking-out-for-you] restrictions. It implies progress despite confines, and implies growth with recklessness kept to a minimum.

Some days, I’d love nothing more to be on the loose — and, truth be told, there’s generally nothing stopping me, save for pets that rely on me for food and water. And bills. Oh, and my job. At the end of the day, however, I can’t deny that I’m a fan of rules and regs when they’re referenced in a sane manner and kept in perspective; I do enjoy coloring within the lines. But perspective is the key word here. Anytime anything is taken so literally that it squelches common sense, creativity or simply the ability to do the right thing is never good, so tonight I am thankful for a helpful hand to nudge us back into position, a gentle push to keep us on the [mostly] straight and [occasionally] narrow path, but also for cutting loose and tearing it up to be an option if we so choose.

Everything in moderation.

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