on freedom and possessions

I started reading David Dellinger’s From Yale to Jail this week, and something he said took me back to some Siberry inspired musings about possessing things I wrote about back in February. In general, I was thinking about the idea that our belongings serve more to keep us imprisoned than really provide us with comfort. Dellinger was speaking about a trek he took while he was a student at Yale University. Having left all of his money at home and dressed in his rattiest clothes, he set out to discover more of that it was like to be regarded as a “bum.” He writes of his experience asking for money in Central Park:

The first person walked past me without answering. I can see him now, more than fifty years later, a man in his late twenties or early thirties, with glasses, wearing a dark suit, pinstriped shirt and tie, and with a little lilt to his walk. He hesitated for a moment, looking at me in a questioning manner, probably because he couldn’t hear what I had tried to say. Unable to find my voice, I opened my hand and he moved on. The second man said something like “Get away from me, you bum!” Several more turned me down, with or without words, but I didn’t care. Already I had recieved more than I had asked for. With my first request I felt a miraculous release of tension inside me . As I continued, I experienced continually expanding feelings of freedom and joy.

“Continually feelings of freedom and joy” reminds me so much of the lightness I saw on Jane Siberry when she handed off her guitar.

Not really much more to say about this really, just making the connection with my continued conflict with wanting stuff and also wanting to be free.

2 comments on “on freedom and possessions

  1. Frank York says:

    Makes you wonder about those bums on the side of the highway or the ones you pass on the street. They might be a student too or even a millionaire who is seeing how people behave. You never know!

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