Minnesota Nice was Nice (Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen)

In St Paul, life was nice

with a seat free in the Volvo 240

I’d offer a ride and wouldn’t think twice

how really nice was Minnesota nice

Ambitions would grow, as is life

One seat free soon was three

in turn offered a full row

Time to reflect has silence to answer

That volvo 240 makes so much smoke

Ambitions would grow, as is life

That Minnesota nice no longer was right

Time to fly south for a milder winter

where life proves less is more

when the smoke clears from old cars

when the friendly hitchhiker returns

When he seeks one ride more

Time to reflect has nothing to answer

but time to trade in the one ride of your life

Cause how very wrong was Minnesota nice

But when a newer model makes lemons

beyond any control, have no-one to blame

Time to reflect has silence to answer

Shaking fists at cats and yelling at clouds

Free to do anything, it’s time to fly home

to St Paul, where life was nice

And shall once again

but no offering rides

having jaded by life

Cat-proofing the house

relearning how to ride bikes

Such is the death

of a Minnesota nice.

Jonathan-franzen-freedom


“The reason I slapped the word on the book proposal I sold three years ago without any clear idea of what kind of book it was going to be is that I wanted to write a book that would free me in some way. And I will say this about the abstract concept of ‘freedom’; it’s possible you are freer if you accept what you are and just get on with being the person you are, than if you maintain this kind of uncommitted I’m free-to-be-this, free-to-be-that, faux freedom.” –Franzen


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