The Inner Landscape

And Your Bird Can Sing

When I started blogging regularly over four years ago, it never
occurred to me that I would have readers. That may sound a bit odd, but
I hadn’t spent much time reading blogs, and I did not understand that
communities had formed around them. I blogged using my real name and my
children’s names and my husband’s name.

And then I began to get comments, and also to read a lot of other
blogs, and to realize that pseudonyms were about more than the fun of
having a nickname. I might need to be thinking about my children’s
privacy, and mine, or that of my church members. So Martha’s Musings,
possibly the most boring blog title EVER, needed a new name. I mused
and mulled and considered and contemplated and, well, you get the
picture. I needed an image to guide me to a name. Where was I in my
life, and what could I use to tell my story in short?

007005a2birdcage
Aunt Mim did indeed have a gilt birdcage music box in her living room.
We weren’t actually relatives; "aunt" and "uncle" were the honorary
titles given to many of my parents’ friends. In a back room arranged
for the delight of grandchildren we found blocks and other toys, but I
nearly always wandered into the living room to wind up the music box
and listen to the little songbird.

I wish I had a picture of the real one.

I only remember one bird, but perhaps there was only one that appeared to sing.

I’ve spent a good bit of my life building cages for myself and
trying to make them look as pretty as the music box, hoping to suit the
tastes of those who were most important to me, seeking to sing the tune
that would please them.

I fear I mostly failed.

When I began writing at Set Free, I had a vague hope of writing my
way out of the cage. Where could I go if I set myself free of the cage
I had been rearranging and reconstructing to meet my own expectations
of the right kind of life? For although there may have been others who
liked me in the cage, I must admit to being comfortable behind its
familiar golden bars, trilling the familiar golden tunes.

It’s true I mostly failed at pleasing others with the songs I hoped they would prefer, but in the end that was a good thing.
Because the people who really love a bird don’t want to see her in a
cage, and they are happy to hear the songs she loves and to take joy in
them with her.

I believe I can finally let myself out of the birdcage. I believe I might be ready to fly.

(This is my final post at Set Free. I hope you will join me at Reflectionary. Old posts will remain available here.)

33 thoughts on “And Your Bird Can Sing”

  1. Boy do I have mixed feelings. I’m so happy you have been “set free”, but why do I find myself wanting to cling to your old cage. Ah, life moves in unexpected ways for others and one’s liberation brings a new adventure for another.
    So, got to go now. I’m going to fly over to Reflectionary.
    But you know you’ll never escape the moniker “Songbird”; don’t you?

  2. I’m celebrating your move! Looking forward to hearing more about the internal moves that are represented by this external move.

  3. On my way over with a bouquet to celebrate your move…I too used to love and be fascinated by one of those birds, though the one I knew was part of the title credits for an antiques programme my parents watched when I was young…

  4. See you over at the new place! I have so enjoyed Set Free, but I also understand the importance of this move. You are an inspiration.

  5. I have loved getting to know you and yours in this space, and it’s been wonderful to watch some of the evolution. I’m glad you’re inviting us over to the new one. Happy writing. And just, well, happy. I’m glad to know you.

  6. Martha – No connection to this post, but I’ve just learned that you and Brian McLaren are essentially twins – both born on exact same day. (You look younger.)
    🙂

  7. WOW. I agree with sentiments expressed by others, and look forward to visiting you over at Reflectionary.

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