In Too lazy to assign a category on January 2, 2007 at 3:22 pm


"Don't build me a golden cage but give me wings to discover the world."

My mother gave this to me years ago. It's one of my favourite possessions.

I guess it's a variation on: if you love someone, set them free. It sure is how I tick. Try to pin me down, and the harder you try, the more you'll push me away. Sure, the cage may be golden, but I don't want to be caged, and I don't want to feel trapped. I don't want people to claim me.

It works on many levels. First there's the material level. When I was younger, I used to work in the diamond industry. There was an Indian guy that fell in love with me. At a certain point, he even wanted me to marry him. There was the huge diamond ring, there was the platinum credit card, there was the villa. All I had to do was say yes. But I didn't. Because I knew I would be living in a golden cage for the rest of my life, and while I might not know what I want out of life, I know it's not that.

It also works on a non material level. I don't want to mean the world to someone, because all too often it boils down to them making me (knowingly, or more often unknowingly) feel responsible for their happiness. I don't want to have to weigh my words all the time, because what I say might make them feel unhappy. I don't want to make someone feel miserable on purpose, but I can't stand the feeling of doing just that, no matter what I say. I don't like feeling that no matter how much time I spend on them, it's never enough. When that happens, I withdraw.

And I know, withdrawing might not be the best answer to such a situation, but it makes me panic. It makes me look for exits. Even while I might not want to get out, I worry and worry, I lie awake at night, and at a certain point, I even run into difficulty breathing. Then all I'm capable of is taking a (temporary) distance. To make it worse, other things going on in my life, might work as a catalyst. And of course, the other person is not going to understand.

Finally, it also works on a very personal level. I build a cage for myself. The cage might give me a (false) sense of safety, but who am I kidding? It only reinforces my anxieties, my fears. In 2007 I want to tear down my own personal cage, and step into the world, liberated, free to explore.

picture taken by me

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  1. Hard to decide sometimes if it is a cage of your own making or not. When it is though, I somehow find it easy to dismantle. 😉

  2. I'm sure you'll accomplish everything you want to in 2007. Happy New Year!

  3. My cage seems to exist of several intertwined circles, part of my own making, part caused by external factors. Not so easy. But you know, Shelle, I've always admired you for your optimism 🙂

  4. In your own time, Irma. When you are ready to dismantle the cages, you will do so, and not a minute before. And yes, I have have a few cages temporarily assigned to myself, each within the other, slightly more confining than the last. I know though, when I am ready, like you I will declare my intent. oh, and Irma, I've always admired your courage and wit. 🙂

  5. Hehe, I hope this time it won't stay at the level of declaring my intent. You know what they're saying about the road to hell … *grin*

  6. "Oh ye of little faith." 😛 See? I know sayings as well… LOLIntent is the first of many steps, I know you will walk your walk… tow your line, drop your luggage off at the dumpster, and all that stuff. Oh dear, I feel like I am building a cage….taking back the pieces… 😉

  7. That's a gorgeous post.. 🙂 Cages are sometimes there for a reason, and they fall apart when you apply a little force to them. Good luck, and best wishes for 2007! 🙂

  8. Bars are never inviting, no matter what they're coated in.
    Best wishes for the new year!

    (what happened to your icon??)

  9. Good luck in 2007. Sometimes, bars can be inviting for me.
    Just the feeling that someone is caring for you, making sure things are
    alright, makes bars okay sometimes. However, being 'free' and in
    control is always 1000x better!

  10. beautiful post, something i myself can relate to a bit too well.
    the best of luck for 2007 for tearing down your cage.

  11. Yes, sometimes cages are there for a reason, I agree. On the other hand, cages don't tend to dissolve by themselves, and I need to get rid of old baggage. I might try that force thing, although I guess I'll have to act with care.

  12. The icon is as it's supposed to be. It's just a white square for the moment, the square I posted here.

  13. Being in control is important to me, guess I'm very much a control freak. Although I have to admit I also need to learn the lesson you just can't control everything, I still prefer to know this without being behind bars, especially bars of my own making.

  14. Thank you masshiina, I'm glad to have posted something that is recognisable to others as well.

  15. what a beautiful post – thank you for sharing it. i agree with all the other comments that cages can be comforting at times, though i usually tend to find them a bit claustrophobic. however, i often find that i jump from one cage to another without realizing it. i suppose it is because i look at what i am jumping from and not what i am jumping to.
    good luck in 2007.

  16. A beautiful, poetic post! Thank you so much for it… I can really
    relate to the feelings I think you are trying to convey here. In my
    life I have sometimes taken very difficult decisions, which made me
    suffer at the time and unfortunately made other people suffer as well,
    but which meant my freedom in the long term, and also my integrity.

    I would also like to add that nothing needs to be permanent in life –
    cages are not necessarily permanent. The name of my blog is "como uma
    onda no mar", which means "like a wave in the sea". It´s part of one of
    my favourite songs, and my intention is to remind myself that all
    things pass, even the strong waves on the shore. Hope this image can
    give you strenght. Have a beautiful 2007!

  17. hi irma. sometimes i think i would love a cage and would flourish on the routine nature of institutional life. on the subject of panic, i also get this and call it 'the fear'. usually on a sunday night when thoughts turn to work.

  18. beautiful. thank you.

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