For most of my life, I’ve felt alone.
I could see everything going on around me. Life. People. Progress. Accomplishment.
But I was stuck behind bars.
Bars of anxiety, fear, and apprehension.
Bars of depression.
The bars of rejection and failure.
And the bars of chronic illness, and the cognitive and physical struggles stemming from that.
Throughout my life, I’ve felt much like a lioness, walking back and forth in my cage. A creature with restless energy, but no idea where to put it or how to apply it within such limited scope.
Peering Into the Past
I am too malnourished to break through these bars, and the glass wall beyond them.
I silently watch as life – my friends, opportunities, my dreams – go by, wondering if I’ll ever be freed from this cage, yet slowly coming to accept my fate – that I may die here, forgotten, with no contribution or legacy or meaning to leave behind me.
I gradually lose my creativity, coming to instead see these walls as my limitations and boundaries.
Until, at some point or other, I stop looking at the walls.
When I stop focusing on my limitations, I find that there is more within the space that confines me than my eyes could previously see.
I’ve spent so long looking out. Out at a life, a world, relationships, ideas, events, materials, opportunities that I would never touch. Things that would never be available to me – at my disposal to work with or use in my creative process.
I’ve spent so long looking outside the boundaries of this prison and wishing to have or be something I could not – coveting what would always for me be a fantasy – that I’ve lost time I could have spent trying to be resourceful with the air available to me, the nitrogen, the oxygen, the sunlight within my domain.
When I at last stop looking at my boundaries, and instead look within them, I begin to see past them. I see a new dimension that was not evident to me before.
Not a dimension of height, or depth, or breadth. Another dimension, another energy. Something I’m still trying to describe and explain and understand. Perhaps it’s a form of music.
I begin to sing.
I start with a quiet song. One that is only audible to me, and the walls and waves of energy that blanket me.
But as I practice, my voice becomes stronger.
And eventually, it begins to carry.
It carries through the glass.
The vibrations of my voice begin to mildly, subtly disrupt the field of energy around me.
I soon sense the presence of another soul.
I am not alone.
But…why? Why would anyone in the free world come to visit a captive? A nobody, locked away in prison? How would they find my small offering even mildly relatable or interesting?
At last though, it starts to make sense. I begin to realize that they, too, are in a prison. But just as mine had formerly been invisible to them, so was theirs to me.
Perhaps their prison is one of societal pressures.
Relationship pain or heartbreak.
A persona they wear, which conceals their true essence from everyone.
A career that they hate.
A different form of chronic illness.
As they visit me in my prison cell, I begin to feel free, and no longer isolated.
I watch as they, too, begin to sing from the confines of their prison.
I watch as their formerly invisible chains begin to unravel.
© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved