From Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book about wrestling with D.H. Lawrence:
“Films and books urge us to think that there will come certain moments in our lives when, if we can make some grand, once-in-a-lifetime gesture of relinquishment, or of standing up for a certain principle – if we can throw in our job and head off, leave the safe life with a woman that we do not love and, as it were, come out – then we will be liberated, free. Moments – crises – like these are crucial to the cinema or theatre where psychological turmoil has to be externalised and compressed. Dramatically speaking what happens after moments such as these is unimportant even though the drama continues afterwards, with the consequences of these sudden lurches beyond the quotidian. Up until then the question is what you are freeing yourself from; the real question, however, as Nietzsche points out – and Lawrence repeats in his Nietzschean Study of Thomas Hardy – is free for what?
Unless, like Thelma and Louise, you plunge off the side of a canyon, there is no escaping the everyday. What Lawrence’s life demonstrates so powerfully is that it actually takes a daily effort to be free. To be free is not the result of a moment’s decisive action but a project to be constantly renewed. More than anything else, freedom requires tenaciousness. There are intervals of repose but there will never come a state of definitive rest where you can give up because you have turned freedom into a permanent condition. Freedom is always precarious.”