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?

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.)

15 thoughts on “And Your Bird Can Sing”

  1. It is neat to hear a little bit of how your blog title came to be and how you started blogging. I didn’t know anything about the blog community when I started (and I’m still remedial on computer-ese).
    a little sad that set free will be ended, but I do like the direction of your new one.

  2. look at you! you go off on a cruise and come back cruising… that’s a good thing… on eagles wings or some sort of image. keep on keepin’ on… we’ll read ya here!

  3. Well, I wondered what happened to “Set-Free” – because this is what appears when I click on my link to your blog and the “old” one is “gone”…or set free…always good to find ourselves in a new place…yay!!!

  4. I”ve been wondering if this day was coming. You are so awesome. Thanks for the prayers – I still need them I’m afraid.

  5. I am just about to cry after reading this very honest and poignant post which I can relate to so much. But then again, you knew that, didn’t you? I am so proud OF you and FOR you Songbird. Set Free indeed…

  6. Obviously you and God are doing some inner work. Here’s to finding joy in the journey and freedom from the cages we build around ourselves. Blessings.

  7. Martha’s Musings?! Hee.
    Here I’m blabbing a few weeks ago about a blog change and I do nothing. And you just up and start flying around. Dang.
    Happy to read you anywhere, of course.

  8. I’m so happy for you feeling “set free.” You and your post today (and often other times) give me hope–something I really have needed the past few days especially. Thank you for sharing yourself.

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