Saturday, March 26, 2011


Freedom, Simplicity, and Leisure

Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands (1959; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), p. 37:
In the desert I had found a freedom unattainable in civilization; a life unhampered by possessions, since everything that was not a necessity was an encumbrance. I had found, too, a comradeship inherent in the circumstances, and the belief that tranquillity was to be found there. I had learnt the satisfaction which comes from hardship and the pleasure which springs from abstinence: the contentment of a full belly; the richness of meat; the taste of clean water; the ecstasy of surrender when the craving for sleep becomes a torment; the warmth of a fire in the chill of dawn.
Id., p. 265:
I wondered why people ever cluttered up their rooms with furniture, for this bare simplicity seemed to me infinitely preferable.
Id., p. 276:
Here life moved in time with the past. These people still valued leisure and courtesy and conversation. They did not live their lives at second hand, dependent on cinemas and wireless.

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