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?
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.
(Cross-posted at Set Free, where it will be my last post. Keep reading here to find out what happens where the wild songbirds are.)