Knowledge and Costs of “Free”

Since writing my first post, I’ve had two clarifying discussions with my mother regarding the expression: “have your cake and eat it too”

In the first she indicated to me that this statement was made to me before I knew how to bake a cake and that in fact as a result of the conversation I indeed applied myself to learning how to bake cakes. I have a fond memory of this time and creating what I called “make-up cakes”. I am not much for manuals and recipes, so once I’d made a few successful cakes – lemon frosting was my favorite, I abandoned the recipe and began improvising with my creations. For some unknown period, my family was getting a weekly “make-up” cake from me. I believe that knowing how to make a cake adds to facility of having it and eating it too.

In the second conversation we spoke of the notion of “payment”. We agreed to the notion that free does not necessarily imply without payment, though I believe that this is really at the heart of the matter and a notion which deserves deeper investigation. The first concept – learning and knowing how to make a cake is actually quite linked to this concept of payment. Fully understanding and knowing how to bake a cake is in fact a form of payment.

I surf. Surfing is free. However; to enjoy this sport there are various forms of payment involved; equipment, clean water with surf-able waves, physical fitness to enable me to paddle out and catch waves, transportation to the beach, etc.. The payment I make today given my life circumstances at the moment is huge; yet, surfing for me will always be free – dropping down the face of a perfect glassy wave at dawn this morning in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia – was ultimate freedom – yet the culmination of substantial payment and to some extent, sacrifice.