In her book Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen (aka the Baroness Karen Blixen) writes about freedom in an early section of "The Shooting Accident" chapter:
"People who dream when they sleep at night, know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control. Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of. . . . All the time the feeling of immense freedom is surrounding him and running through him like air and light, an unearthly bliss. He is a privileged person, the one who has got nothing to do, but for whose enrichment and pleasure all things are brought together. . . .
"The thing which in the waking world comes nearest to a dream is night in a big town, where nobody knows one, or the African night. There too is infinite freedom: it is there that things are going on, destinies are made round you, there is activity to all sides, and it is none of your concern.”
p. 87, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
(NY: Random House, Vintage Books, 1938, 1972)
"Things are going on, destinies are made round you,
there is activity to all sides, and it is none of your concern."
How do you feel about this idea of freedom?
Do you have any thoughts about Dinesen's idea that the artist is someone
"who has no will, who is free of will"?
PS Some of the comments on this blog refer to a September post about floating in an eddy. This essay has been removed pending its publication elsewhere.
As a reader, I like essays and novels that are informed by ideas. Annie Dillard. Michael Ondaatje. I am hoping here to join others who feel the same. I look forward to thoughtful conversations!