Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why does a caged bird sing?

I came across this simple question and it grasped my curiosity. Why does a caged bird sing? My most immediate answer was that a bird is created to sing, but then I thought it could be logical to perhaps think that after a while a caged bird would not sing as it is trapped with no freedom to soar and explore? This assuming the caged bird has previously been free at some point. Well it does sing and I searched for an answer and found an interesting one in a beautiful poem written by American Author and Poet Maya Angelou which I will share with you below. Drawing parallels between situations of life that trap us to the caged bird, I ask you to empathize with a caged bird and determine to sing in that situation. Just as the bird's feet are tied and it cannot fly about, but opens its throat to sing, is it possible that when something in you seems dead, tied down, immobilized and unavailable for its intended purpose, you choose to see something else which is still available and free to use fully instead? Can you stand on the grave of dreams and still create a new dream to pursue? While you are trapped in that situation, albeit temporarily (unlike the bird which may be permanently caged), can you still sing of freedom like the bird, or do you feel like there is no song to sing? I hope you can find a song to sing in those times when you feel a "cage" all around you.

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
And floats downstream till the current ends
And dips his wing in the orange suns 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