You saw a bird and you liked it. You gave her a cage made of gold. A cage it was after all.
For a while she loved her new apparently luxurious home but then her loneliness began haunting her. You used to shake the cage up vigorously and swing it around in huge circles. You didn’t let the bird hold on to a corner; you didn’t let her get some sleep. At first she thought you loved her and maybe this was one of your ways of expressing your love. So initially she smiled and believed that you were playing around but then she began to worry a little because you never seemed to stop and eventually the pain became unbearable. Annoyed of all the disturbances and anguish that you bestowed, the bird began to put up her fight. She fought to shut you up for a while. She fought to make you realize. She fought to get some mercy. She screamed at and wrestled with the iron bars of your golden cage; she screamed and wrestled in despair. None of those bars ever moved an inch. They all just teased the bird who was locked in their painful embrace.
Pleading for mercy was her next resort. She cried and begged to get some peace or be set free but nothing, nothing melted those iron bars. Nothing melted your heart either. You seemed pretentious but you showed no sympathy.
Then one day the cage stopped shaking. The noise and the screams and swirling around in circles – everything just stopped. All the chaos had suddenly vanished. And just when the bird slightly peeked out of its wings, the iron bars began to slide sideways. Quickly she hid behind her wings again, scared of what might be coming towards her. One minute passed -two and then three. Nothing came. Nothing hurt her. The serenity was creepy but it prevailed.
As careful as she could be, the bird dared to peek once more. Her vision of the world was for once, not hindered by the iron bars. She saw right through the open door of her cage and the world was so endless, so clear that she almost wanted to jump forward and take a bite of it. After all, this was so close to the sense of freedom that she had been longing for.
But doubts and fear incapacitated her sense of being. She couldn’t help but ask herself over and over again ‘Could this be another trap? Will I be fooled again that this pain is an expression of love?’. Despite the world calling for her to step out and fly away, the bird quietly crawled backwards and refused to escape. She had the opportunity all along but she had deceived herself way too much to risk any further damage. What fate had to bring to her, she couldn’t deny so she sat back quietly and became fate’s most loyal spectator. She cautiously observed her surrounding and then her eyes would come back to the open door of the cage. She looked around at the iron bars waiting for them to snap back at her with one of their ugly tricks. But nothing happened. She looked again and again but they seemed to have fallen asleep. It was as if someone had pulled the plug out and everything had come to rest.
She still didn’t believe this calmness. She tried to listen to every molecule that swung around her head. She waited patiently – one breath at a time – always ready for the next attack – always letting fear prevail; the fear of not knowing why you are getting hurt.
Days passed by but the iron bars didn’t close back. The cage still did not shake. Nothing hurt her. There was complete silence all around. Her eyelids began to close – perhaps they were too tired of staying awake; of staying alert. She took a restless nap but even that felt really good. Tranquility coupled with consistency – just the thought of it seemed absolutely magical!
So have I been finally heard? Are the iron bars telling me that I may leave? I don’t want to believe in what is being shown to me so just tell me will you, am I free??
One step at a time and every step was marred with intervals of the fear of being drastically hurt again. Just stop me now if this is a trick. Please God just stop me now. Her heart was beating in her throat and finally after days of observation, she crawled towards the open door. Tears rolled down her face once again… but this time not out of the misery – this time it was out of a bittersweet pain.
How I had loved this golden cage of yours. I loved it with all my heart. How I would have sung in it happily for all my life. How I would have embraced you as my master. But today, in her state of half-consciousness she has one question for God, for all the people who witnessed her agony, for the friends that she had left outside and for him – she only asks ‘why?’.
She finally stood on the edge of the cage and looked outside from its open door. She stared at the world for hours and she still can’t believe her eyes. Is it really over? She breathes once and once again and once again and then she sighs. She wouldn’t look back into the cage and she’s too weak to fly off tonight. So she just stands there waiting for the incessant deception to end. She waits there until she truly believes. She waits to be able to fly again. Because when she does, just wait and see – she’ll take off faster than any shooting star and disappear in the deep thick clouds for a long, long time. You’ll never be able to trace her again and she’ll never look down to see .. your cage of gold that she thought was her home to be.