What does it mean to be free?

Why is it that for some people, drinking a drop of liquor would be a grievous error, when for many others, a glass of wine with dinner poses no challenge at all?

The danger is not in the alcohol. The trap lies in the alcoholism of the few, the spectral claws of addiction.

It is not the act itself which harms, but the implications of the action for the individual.

The reason why I must find a balance between my purchase of books and my consumption of them is this: the former habit has become an insatiable hunger, unhinging my grasp on my time and my pursestrings.

I can quickly enter into a daze as I build and brood over my wishlist of titles online. A choice turn of phrase by a book reviewer easily convinces me that life would henceforth be barren without this book or a complete collection of that author’s works.

Then, when the package arrives, is torn opened, and the object of desire admired, catalogued and shelved, all is forgotten and the cycle begins anew. I sit in front of my MacBook Pro (I fear I am a slave to it as well), and start browsing myself into a daze.

Restraining myself to a budget is just a novel way of skirting round the true crime — I’ve been building an edifice of empty indulgence on endlessly shifting sands. I can’t be sure I’m even going to live long enough to read the books I do have, much less the books that I want to have.

Meanwhile, I should be reading, writing, singing, strumming, dancing, praying, instead of meditating on all this. Yet more time has been lost to me.


3 thoughts on “What does it mean to be free?

  1. the pleasure i get out of browsing and buying books must henceforth be outweighed by the pleasure of actually reading them!

    that’s the equation I used to stop eating red meat and chicken — the pleasure i would get out of eating them is now outweighed by the pleasure of sparing them.

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