the difference between choice and necessity

“You may say – people have said to me – you would have been happy in the more flourishing days of the religious order, and that, I imagine, is close to the truth. But even there I hesitate, and the difference between Choice and Necessity jumps up again to confound me. ‘Freedom is knowledge of necessity’; I believe nothing as ardently as I do that. And I assure you that to act in this way is the only logical step for me to take. I mean, of course, to be acted upon in this way is the only logical step for me to take.”

(Elizabeth Bishop, “In Prison,” p.191 in Collected Prose.)

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