I am a linguist who loves literature and who is fascinated by science. I quantify randomness. I paint. I travel in a power wheelchair, hoping to capture the ordinary.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Freedom, movement and pleasure

Feeling like a tree...
Originally uploaded by hajlana

Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery. --Wayne Dyer

In the wake of the Haiti earthquake, it is hard to write about anything else. Upon seeing images of trapped bodies, dead and alive, on a small island, I can't help but think: they have no way out. So I'm thinking about movement as freedom, freedom as life, life as pleasure. Perhaps the last connection should not be made (it is generally naive). But for my purposes today, life as pleasure. (We'll leave Beckett out of this for now.)

In a recent article in French Studies, Ullrich Langer argues that the Renaissance poem offered pleasure because the poem was a landscape without constraints. All we ever want is to be able to sail away.

I am full of wanderlust, always. (I like something about the lady in this video; I find her rendition of this song touching. See lyrics.)

The trip is not always perfect, but the loneliness of human nature is less cruel when discoveries are being made.Joni Mitchell's entire album Hejira is about journeying.

To donate to help the trapped people of Haiti, here are some suggestions:

Grassroots International
Partners in Health
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

I leave you with a 1962 video of Katherine Dunham, an American ethnologist and dancer in Haiti, who fell in love with the dances associated with Haitian vodou. After a brief interview (in French), you can see the dancing.

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