Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Freedom Caged

Caged Freedom
There are limits in life. Sometimes they feel like cages. There is an irony to me that the winged symbol of freedom is not only endangered, but in cages and fences across the nation for us to view.

Maybe personal freedom is endangered and caged. I am not talking about the political stuff, I am talking about the freedom to be ourselves and pursue our dreams.

We live in expectations and judgement and so many other boundaries that limit us and endanger us and restrict us from soaring.

Our focus is all too often on the cage and not the proud bird that we are wanting to soar.

At the moment, if I am being honest, I am not in a head space that I can express my thoughts well. I have screwed something up and I am dealing with that reality. Some days are like that. I will close with Maya Angelou's wonderful poem. Before I do, I will say this. If the cage is of your own making, tear it down and soar. If the cage is made by others, they were wrong to do that to you. Sing your song of freedom and never be less than you. You are beautiful and worth it.

Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.


But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.


The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.


The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own


But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.


The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don't You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)


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