Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | January 28, 2011


When Pigs Fly

Image by yuan2003 via Flickr

What are you dreaming about right now?



  1. I’m daydreaming about freedom and wondering, simultaneously, if I can even define freedom.

    • That is a wonderful dream. It is so elusive. I found my ideas of freedom change even as I feel I’m closer to it. Right now my idea of freedom is the ability to pursue what makes me happy. In order to do this I must rely on my health and security. For me happiness includes writing and traveling. Although even as I have achieved this there are things that I’ve found might make me happier, like a home base. There was a time where I thought freedom meant making a lot of money or a college degree or living on my own. But all of these ideas changed for me over the years. There have been times in my pursuit when I’ve felt less “free” than others. Say when I was raising small children. But the joy my girls gave me far outweighed those passing feelings.

      Good luck in your quest, my friend. Dreaming is a nice way to start.

  2. Thank you! Yours is a lovely definition of freedom. Alas, I sometimes wonder if freedom is a natural state for us or if we are forever doomed to be prisoners of our own worst attributes. How free are we, after all, when our individual realities are so profoundly shaped by the narrow prisms through which we see the world?

    • I think that freedom as an absolute definition for everyone is hard to tackle. We can only experience the world from our perceptions. [perception=reality] But looked at individually, I believe freedom is a state of mind. I’ve seen some prisoners who were free because they were pursuing their beliefs. I’ve seen some people you might think are free–wealthy people or people who seem to have it all–trapped by their own mental prisons be it debt or guilt, etc. As far as freedom being a natural state? I do believe it is human nature to want to be free but I don’t think it’s automatically in our nature to know what that particular meaning is for ourselves. I think we have to start with an idea, pursue it and then reshape it as we live.

      I find this discussion so moving right now especially as Egypt is trying to define that for herself. I know that the Americans I talk to support the Egyptian people and their quest for a voice in their government and an end to oppression.

  3. Political freedom, or freedom to participate in a political system, is something that tends to come when the time is right. I think the Egyptian people are showing the world that the time is right for them to be able to decide their own destinies. Thirty years is a long time for any one leader to be in power. It’s a generation, really.

    I think personal freedom is more challenging to define. Many of the things we pursue in life are designed to ensnare us in one form or another. Career, marriage, kids — all of these things make it more difficult for us to pick up and walk away at the drop of a hat. In a sense, they make us less free. Conversely, an unmarried, childless bohemian who sells clay pipes on Phish tours is free to come and go as he pleases, and yet he is likely to find that kind of freedom an ultimately empty experience. The question, then, is whether or not freedom is really the best thing for us. It feels good, yes, but does it enrich the soul?

    • Well said. So freedom can be a paradox. The things we love are the very things that can trap us, if we perceive them that way. So, instead, perhaps freedom isn’t what we do or how we define ourselves, but how we perceived them. So the career-minded, married person with kids and the bohemian are each free because of their perceptions. The married person with responsibilities sees himself as free because he is pursuing his dream of commitment and family and the bohemian doesn’t see her life as empty because of the rewards of friendship and travel she finds on the road. He each enrich our souls differently.

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