Friday, February 15, 2008

On being managed

When I was an undergrad, I took a seminar on Baudelaire, the poet. It was interesting, I learned a lot, and I had a wonderful teacher. PJ Lapaire, who became a good friend.

Anyway.

I also used Baudelaire, actually something he said, as the basis for the essay I wrote for my graduate school applications.

I'm totally paraphrasing here but it was something along the lines of - the stricter the form, the more creative you can be within the form. I wove a tale about creativity and freedom and linguistics and poetry and whatever else and it was either good or it wasn't but the rest of my application was because I got in.

Regardless.

My point is, my question is, where do you find freedom?

Is it in total liberty of movement, pushing the walls away and feeling all that limitless space?

Or is it in the cellar, where the salt stays and preserves during winter? There is freedom there for some, I think.

Or is it within a place that has limits, maybe an older place, a place that knows you well, that can manage you without breaking you and let you feel free, you are free there, without feeling chaotic?

What does that place look like? And what does it feel like when you take a breath there?

5 comments:

beth said...

I think freedom is something that you don't realize when you have it, yet miss it when it's gone

Lorraine said...

I had a similar lesson from literature, I think it was Madeline l'Engle. It had to do with the strictures of writing a sonnet, so many lines, so many feet per line, specific rhyme scheme and if you didn't do it that way, it wasn't a sonnet. But, and it was a big but, you could right about whatever you wanted.

Life is like that...lots of form but you can do whatever you want within it. I oddly find freedom in that.

Anonymous said...

I can travel the world in my mind...free to go as I please

Nicole said...

Beth - that's true of most things, I think.

Lorraine- Me too. sometimes

Anon - You are very lucky.

Sarah said...

Thanks to our UNCW connection, I know Dr. Lapaire too!