Monday, March 17, 2003

Freedom

. . . the phrase "the voice of the community" does not appear at all (nor does "the muse" although I accept that it's implied in what he wrote). I believe he is suggesting that "the muse" arises from what he calls "the cultural narrative of communities" (then later the "communal narrative"). I take this to mean the cultural tradition to which The Tutor refers: "a succession of masters under masters going back generations within a living community of practice."

. . . The freedom I describe is not the freedom of the indifferent, it is the hard won freedom that comes from devoting oneself wholeheartedly to a practice (in my case, photography then writing). It is not a "go along to get along," "fake it until you make it" sort of freedom. It is hard, lonely, demanding.

It requires every ounce of passion and commitment once can discover within one's own meager resources. It is only occasionally rewarding in the conventional sense (fame and fortune) but infinitely rewarding in many other ways. . . I place all my trust in the community to which I feel connected, most of whose members are physically dead but who live in and through me (and others) through the agency of tradition, language, and -- most of all -- practice . . .
(- Jonathon Delacour from the comments after Riding easy in harness)