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Finding a key to your cage. Saturday March 8, 2014

I have a pair of earrings that for many reasons hold a lot of meaning to me. They are two small terracotta tiles, on one there is a small painting of a key and on the other a rudimentary cage with a bird in it. My current circumstances often lead me to feeling like that caged bird and in trying to change my lot in life (primarily through writing), I'll often quip that I'm trying to find the key to my cage.

By the same token though, I often stand and watch the little birds and marvel at their courage to fly, sing and forage for food, when the odds seem so stacked against them - birds of prey, cats, harsh winds etc. I frequently ponder, that if I were a bird, I may risk starvation and remain huddled in the safety of my nest. Maybe remaining in the cage is a safer bet.

And It's not just our circumstances that threaten to incarcerate us. We may have built our own walls and barriers, in an attempt to keep us safe and invulnerable. My all time favourite winsome words, in a film, are delivered by George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

'...You call yourself a free spirit - a wild thing - and you're terrified that somebody's gonna stick you in a cage, well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself; it has no boundaries, it's wherever you go because no matter where you go, you only end up runnin' into yourself.'

I have long since cherished the words of Anais Nin: 'And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'

Growth, especially through a depression, can be excruciating, slow and hard work. But just as we feel joy and relief when spring flowers come into bud and the harsh, darkness of winter begins to pass, when we take the risk to blossom, there is a healing; a Spring time in our hearts.

A Moodscope user.

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Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 6:20am

I loved this post. Thanks Susy
Ps I recently travelled to Sri Lanka with a group of strangers and in doing so blew open the door to my cage and had a wonderful time. I truly relaxed. Now home and am trying to fit the assumptions that I assume and others assume is me :-) feeling constrained.

Nicole Ichtertz Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 7:09am

I loved this post as well. Those earrings are very inspiring! Thank you.

Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 8:00am

Great post;) I forgot how I've caged myself In the name of self preservation. Thanks for the unlocking tip and wow breakfast at Tiffanys quote really thought provoking - food for thought indeed. Thanks again lovely read ;)

Mart Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 8:13am

Suzy this post is brilliant. Especially liked Mr Peppard's quote. I hope you soon find the key that leads you to where you would like to be.

Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 8:20am

A terrific post Suzy, you hit the button again. Thanks.

The Entertrainer Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 9:04am

What beautiful writing! (Aside from being pragmatic and inspiring too.) I heard a Zen saying once that's always stuck in my mind. The wise monk asks the initiate, "What keeps the tiger in his cage?" The young lad thought long and hard, wanting to be wise like his master... but in the end he had to conclude, "The bars?"

The wiser monk said, "Almost... it is not the bars but the distance between the bars!" Of course we can see this when sparrows fly in and out of zoo cages that contain larger animals.

I can't pretend I've ever understood the point - but for today, I am going to try looking at my cage in a dfferent way. I'm sure I saw a ridiculous movie where one of the characters said a magic word to turn him into the size of a sparrow... anyway, there may just be some way to change my size or the distance between the bars metaphorically, so that something new changes in my experience and I can escape and blossom!

Vicky Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 9:10am

I particularly like the quote from the film - brilliant! makes me want to see it again, I have it on video, and yes, I do still have the VHS machine :) I suspect our "cages" come in all sorts of forms, and we build them for self-protection, but often forget that we have, and it takes a gentle reminder like this morning's blog to prompt us to relook at the constraints we created. I know for me, I need to feel "safe" and I make sure my space is boundaried, literally, as I never have people round (except sisters). But I can recognise what a trap this is and how stultifying to the rest of my life. I heard a quote a few days ago, at a company presentation, looking at how it could move forward. "If you stay still, you die". That hit me, in the same way as Suzy's blog today. Thank you.

heather Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 9:28am

Beautiful !

Richard Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 9:45am

Suzy, thankyou for a thought-provoking blog. I hope your "writing yourself out of depression" continues. Peace and Love.

Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 1:24pm

Thank you Suzy - so true and so well express. It made me cry.

Tere Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 5:31pm

Two quotes to put on my quotes wall. I collect quotes such as this, and put them on a cork board over my sewing machine (where I hide/spend most of my time), changing them out over and over. Two here. This is very thought provoking as Richard says.

Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 5:58pm

Hi Tere: a quotes wall - what a lovely idea. Maybe you could write a blog using one of them? I would love to read it! (and I am sure others would as well.) Frankie

Lostinspace Sun, Mar 9th 2014 @ 12:53am

This so makes me think of all the people who thought it was necessary to travel to Australia overland to find themselves and came back with their cages anyway. This post might be really useful for parents faced with teenagers who are sure they need to travel, could be very cost effective! Why only now at 60 do I understand this concept well enough to make jokes about it? Because I know that wherever I go I will always bump into myself and I have taken my cage with me wherever I went and just like the tiger in the zoo it makes me sad.

Anonymous Sun, Mar 9th 2014 @ 8:30am

Beautiful & thought provoking. It's true that writing helps & sometimes opens up a door. Keep at it!

Mary Mon, Mar 17th 2014 @ 10:45am

Suzy and Lex together - just perfect!

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