MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “caged”

Don’t forget to fly

bird_cage_flying-400x250For five years, it had lived in this round copper-like column circular enclosure. It was born in the very nest it still sleeps in, though now it has been slightly renovated according to its own needs. But it knew nothing other than this.

This was its home. Its refuge. Its safety net. What was out there was a mystery and it had already reconciled with the thought that it would never find out.

Until that one day.

That day when the sun was shining and its bright golden rays illuminated its enclosure. There it sat, soaking in as much Vitamin D as it could, when suddenly something whizzed past it. It was a momentary flicker of light but enough to make it open its eyes and realise there was someone out there.

It was another bird.

And it was… flying?!

The bird came close, used its beak to pull off the small nail that kept the enclosure opening shut, dropped a white paper inside and flew away.

This one remained gazing wide-eyed in amazement, confused at what had just happened.

Taking hold of the paper, it slowly unrolled it and read:

“Don’t forget to fly”.

Could this be the opportunity it was always longing for? To find out what is out there? Beyond the safety of a familiar enclosure? Beyond what is already known? But what if what was out there was better left unknown? What if it got hurt? What if…

It got dizzy from all the thoughts swerving inside its mind. It was trying to understand, to balance the positive “what ifs” with the negative ones. This was its chance to go out and explore the world. But it had to act fast before someone realized the gateway was open and it became shut again.

In a very short time, it became obsessed with something it had never tasted. What would it feel like being free? Flying in the clean air? Outside? Being just a small part of a vast universe?

It finally decided that it would never know unless it tried. And it was always better to have tried and failed, rather to have never even made the attempt and simply left wondering.

So, the little bird used its small beak and opened the cage door wide. It took a leap and began to frantically flap its wings. Once it gained height and realized that it didn’t take as much effort to maintain momentum, the adrenaline rush that filled its veins made it feel like the happiest it had been for five years. Just look at all the wonders that are out here. But we are all too shut inside our own safe enclosures to be able to fully comprehend and marvel at them…

“If you’re not scared then you’re not taking a chance. If you’re not taking a chance then what the hell are you doing anyway?” – How I met your mother

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Between a couch and a wild place

The leather couch used to squeak whenever he would slide down onto it. It didn’t anymore. You could even feel the small dent in the middle caused by all those people it had accommodated over the years. He could proudly or shamefully (it depends how you saw it) proclaim that he had grown up right there on that brown leather couch. In that down town office that was as modern as could be, with white walls that were repainted every five years and modern, funky furniture that invited the waiting patients and offered the illusion that they would take their troubles away.

Relax”.

That was the first word he heard every time he sat on that couch. It was Mr. Waterman’s job, though, to say so. He needed his patients calm so that they could pour out their soul to him during the next hour and he could attempt to provide some solution, consolation or advice to their problems. And these were many and varied. But over the years he had heard a lot. Just not from one particular patient. This one had proven to be an especially difficult case.

Brandon would simply refuse to speak out, to tell the professional sitting across him what troubled his mind, what made his heart ache, where his eyes wandered when he stared at the horizon out of the window. Whatever the exhortations or appeals Mr Waterman would use, discreetly or not, Brandon did not want to speak. He simply sufficed to say that he had nothing to say. Mr Waterman even tried to entice him with milkshakes and chocolate, but that didn’t work even when he was a young child, let alone now.

After around twenty years of therapy, Brandon still had nothing to say. Yet, he was as confused and tormented inside as he had always been. A storm was still brewing inside of him. It was just silent to the outer world.

Brandon was a child that kept to himself. He became quite the introvert as a young man, although he loved to socialize and go out with friends. But when he returned home, he liked to stay in his room doing his own thing, whatever that was – reading a book, listening to music, surfing the web. And just like he disturbed no one, he himself did not like to be disturbed. His upper class parents believed he was a troubled child. They described him as “emotionally unavailable” and “awkward” and pleaded Mr Waterman to “fix him”. So Brandon grew up in the office of a shrink. Only none of them knew about it.

Mr Waterman watched Brandon grow from a quiet boy into an unsuccessful rebel, into an elegant and well-educated young man. From the few things Brandon had uttered in his office, the professional understood that the boy felt misunderstood, that no one could comprehend what he felt or thought and that is why he preferred to stay silent. So the hours were spent talking about culture, the news, and well, anything other than himself. The latest thing that made Brandon’s eyes gleam with excitement was a photo book of the most amazing places in the world that should be visited. The first-page inscription –a quote by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for” – was what mostly inspired his heart to sing. But Mr Waterman knew that the storm would finally break out; he could see it the young man’s eyes, his gaze was looking further than meets the eye. It was obvious that he was in search of something out there that was not immediately visible.

And the storm arrived.

It came in the form of a hand-written letter and a tidied-up room.

I run because I no longer want to hide.
Because there is so much more out there to explore.
Because I want to move on with my life and do something substantial.
Because I feel I cannot reach my true potential if I
am locked down here, without facing any real challenges or the endless possibilities that seem to be out there.
Because I want to be somewhere where people know me for me and not because of who I know.
Because I want to be heard without needing to yell and fight.
Because I want to rediscover the joy of Fridays and looking forward to the weekend.
Because I want to live and see places and not just hear about them from other people’s past experiences.
Because I want to find a house that is mine from the start, that I decorate and organise to fit my needs.
Because it is part of growing up and independence is a powerful thing to have.
Because I don’t want to waste time anymore, waiting.
Because I want to finally find and taste at least one happy ending.
I run because I am not running. I simply want to live.

Caged

tiger in cageWe all love going to the zoo. It’s a fun-filled entertainment park where you get to view all these amazing animals from all around the world. Animals that otherwise you would rarely have the chance to encounter. But what makes you wonder when at the zoo, is how these creatures, these animals who were literally born to be wild, can remain confined in the closed spaces they have been assigned. Caged. Just look at the lion, the “King of the jungle”, the beast of beasts, wandering restlessly inside its cage. The tigers spend most of their time “drifting” and then lying down as if admitting defeat and falling asleep. And every so often you hear complaints that “they aren’t really doing anything exciting”. But how can they? They really don’t have anything to do. All they look forward to in their days is for the gamekeeper to come along during feeding time. Back in the wild, they would have been running countless of miles, chasing their own food and experiencing the thrill of being alive. No wonder the Penguins of Madagascar keep plotting their escape from the zoo.

Living in a closed society, in a country that considers itself to be as entertaining and glamourous as a big city, but at the same time can’t shake off all the negative perks of a close-minded village, is very much like being caged.

There is hardly anything new or exciting to do, because it all just seems too pretentious. And it most often is. People attend events, concerts and openings etc, merely to appear in the relevant magazine section. Simply to be seen. It is a society that obliges you to have a broad network of contacts in order to get anywhere or get any work done. But at the same time, it is one which criticizes and talks about you consistently, as if you are the only one people should occupy their time with. And there are people who believe that you shouldn’t be seen doing pretty much anything, exactly because of the gossipers.

It is tiring most of all to deal with this stagnation when you know you have a restless spirit. When you know that this way of life has become stale and it is simply not good enough anymore. There is something better out there and you need to chase it. The point of feeling alive is to gain new experiences, to taste new things, to meet new places, to constantly learn. To smile more than you frown. To feel your heart flutter with excitement at the thought of going anywhere or doing anything. Once you lose that, then there is pretty much nothing left.

We were born to move around, to explore, to discover, to live and then settle.

In societies like those closed-up in their shell, people behave as if they are constantly the centre of it all. As if in the seven billion people that occupy the Earth, these are the ones that matter. And in some surprising way and as unwelcome as it may be, no matter how far you manage to fly away, they always manage to clip your wings and pull you back, like a tamer tugging at your leash. It is alight, even entertaining for a few weeks, but then, you sort of run out of reasons to get up in the morning and while you do enjoy the comfort and safety of this home, you crave experience and the new adventures that await out there. After all, when birds fly out of the nest, they (usually) don’t get pulled back in.

Like this amazing article states, “starting over isn’t about changing your scene, but the way you’re living in it. It’s about opening your eyes again, walking to the ledge and looking up, down and across, once again comprehending the vastness of life that sits openly waiting for you”.

Every now and then we all need a fresh start. Somewhere new. In order to get your pulse racing again. To vividly feel and inhale everything around you. To reignite your passion for life. To garner new life moments and new friends. To be reborn and keep moving on. To simply feel alive again.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Make It Anywhere (“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City.)

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