Freely Caged


I laugh with a force so loud it deafens my own voice upon release. You, the so-called superior one, curl your nose and hold your breath, resembling a blobfish, as you haul my daily droppings away. Your cantankerous yearnings for my failures hold no sway over me. I listen to the deathbed promise you mumble each day. An oath you will never break, but one you wouldn't mind fumbling should I make my escape. Open door. Freedom. Take it. Your vocabulary boiled down to five words. One standing above the rest. Freedom. A word whose definition is flawed with half truths and fairy tales. For are you ever truly free?

You freely live within the confines of your own cage. A slave to the lenders who so graciously provided you with the funds to purchase four walls and a roof. You freely live on the land you own, yet should you freely decide to forgo property taxes, your wise overlords will freely take your land and ask you not so freely to leave. You freely fill the confines with do dads and gadgets, each bought and paid for by credit cards and each believed to be a necessity due to finely-worded advertising. You freely pay for the comforts of electricity and water, whether through overlord support or funded within your own land. You freely pay to cover your confines in case what you just swiped from my cage happens. You freely forget to read the fine print, so they can freely deny you when what you swiped from my cage happens.

Now you freely leave, freely locking your confines in the belief that it will be safe from thieves, who could freely break the window and crawl in if they so wished. You step into your wonderful machine. You freely signed over your life to the overlords to get those four tires on the road. Four tires that will have to be replaced multiple times, along with other aspects of your oh so great machine that are built to break. You freely fill your machine with the fuel needed to freely get where you are going. You grumble more than your wish for my freedom over the cost, but you freely pay what the overlords demand for said fuel.

You finally make it to a new confine. One of which you freely give eight hours, if not more, of your life to each day. All so the overlords can freely take much of your pay for your own benefit and leave you with just enough to freely survive. But never fear, you are freely working, so those lenders will graciously give you more should you fall on hard times. You just may have to freely pay higher interest and put up your great confines, what little you own in it, as collateral. You are freely available for overtime, freely giving away even more of your life, as to pay off the extra they gave. But oh, they gave more, you freely needed that next do dad, and you...when did eight becomes fourteen? You freely complain. You freely blame the overlords, lenders, and even me. Never yourself, which you are freely able to find excuses for avoiding.

You are free to think of alternatives. Free to imagine quitting the other confines. Free to imagine living on the road. Free to realize you are a few steps away from living under that bridge you freely passed in your, I mean the overlords machine, as you still have five years left to pay it off. You are free to envision without the consequences. You are free to try. You are also free to freeze to death when the winter months come back around.

Freedom. A right. A right to owe. A right to pay. A right to slave each day for the right to owe and the right to pay. A right for the few moments of peace you are granted before the next ding. Bill due. Payment due. New do dad you must have. New built to break machine. New faults within your confines that need fixing. New rules that will increase your deductible and payment. New needs that increase property taxes, like overlord raises. Freedom a righ...luxury few can afford.

I yearn to see that blobfish impression again the next day as you replace my paper and close the door. I am free. Free to stay within my confines and have you a slave to my every need. You are free to revoke your oath, but you never will. Confined to a belief of your own design. A message to a departed no longer languishing upon the earth. A feeble freedom of your own fruitful design. Freely caged while forever free of your freedoms.

Words: 794

There we go. Took it a bit of a different way. As are we truly ever free? Maybe if you are a millionaire, but you still have to pay property taxes and such. We are free to make our own choices, unlike so many, thankfully, but there is no way in life to truly ever be free to one's self. Even if you go live in the woods, which you are free to do, you can still be moved by whoever decides to buy it, sell it off, or nature can freely cause an earthquake and suck you up. Always something. May be better off being the bird in the cage at times. Or not. Free to choose. As my mind freely goes all over the place and we may even rhyme in this space. See? Did that. Now we are freely done with it where we're at.

Enjoy life, forget the strife.

Comments

  1. Boy, your post title sure is accurate, so many think they are free but they sure aren't!

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  2. Now I'm depressed, LOL! Thankfully though we are free in so many ways that people in other countries are not so that should be a blessing! Great thoughts you shared!

    betty

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    1. lol well you are free to be depressed. Yeah, we are way more free than most in many other countries. A blessing indeed.

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  3. We are never really free. There's always something.

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  4. What an interesting take on the theme!
    Society has so many expectations, so many costraints that we allow on ourselves. You've definitely got me thinking!

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    1. Yeah, just so many out there that sometimes we don't even realize.

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  5. Many of that wise birds thoughts have crossed my mind too. Despite the free thought I am still caged (but more aware of the bars).
    Great take on the prompts.

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    1. Being more aware of the bars isn't a bad thing.

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  6. Society, the greatest cage of all. Unbreakable bars.

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  7. Nah, I don't think we are ever truly free. Even as millionaires.

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    1. Yeah, always something to never make one truly free.

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  8. When you're a kid you want to grow up so you can 'do whatever you want.' Then you get there, and realize, 'it was much better not having any of these bills and responsibilities' that do leave us so enslaved to whomever.

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    1. Yep, certainly learn rather quick that we sure can't do whatever we want.

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  9. The deep anger that drives this story functions on so many levels: as a reaction to capitalism itself, the lack of vision when we don't 'see' the cages of our own making, and those interlocking dependencies and commitments that create a sense of freedom which is not freedom at all. What is absolute freedom? This story asks us to consider for ourselves how free we are. Provocative!

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    1. Glad it made questions be asked, always good when that happens.

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  10. "Freedom. A right. A right to owe. A right to pay. A right to slave each day for the right to owe and the right to pay." Pat, how long did it take you to think about your take on 'freedom'? Freedom looked at this way reveals there's no such thing. We're all 'caged birds.' Fabulous use of the theme Pat!

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    1. All caged birds of some sort. Came up with that yesterday morning and then posted away.

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  11. I don't think the need to pay taxes makes you less free. I've lived in a totalitarian society half my life, before I immigrated to Canada. Now, I'm free. For me, freedom means I make my own choices. My options are limited, true; I'm caged on all sides by financial and social conditions, but inside those conditions, I choose, not the government, not the army, not the party. I make my own choices of where to live and where to work, and then I face the consequences. I believe this is true freedom, and there is no other.
    I suppose my view might be different from those who have always lived in a free society. People seldom appreciate a limited freedom we all have in the West, unless they experienced a dictatorship first hand.
    Strangely, many of my fellow Russian immigrants don't feel the way I do. They pine for the restrictions of socialism, because they didn't have to face the consequences of their decisions there. The government chose for them, let's blame the government for all our problems. Much easier than pay for your own mistakes.

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    1. Oh yeah, there is way more freedom here then in many many other places. We are free to make any choice we want, even living under a bridge, but there are always restraints. With each perspective there is another layer, making freedom even more so, maybe?

      Can see why they feel that way, as many people would rather blame the government, rich people, their dog, anyone but themselves for their choices.

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  12. It all comes down to knowing what is freedom means to you. And just maybe it comes to a philosophy of what an individual thinks about life and death. Is the life on earth really all
    there is? If so then we are all doomed to living in this one big cage called planet Earth.
    I like the way you approached this story. It engaged me.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. Yeah, doomed many of us may be if this is all there is.

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  13. Good questions on what is freedom, Pat. I guess we don't really know, until various parts of it are taken away. It seems as though legislature takes it away, bit by bit.

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    1. Yeah, bit by bit without anyone even realizing it until it's too late.

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  14. Oh you must be working in Credit Counselling😁. This post sounds like so many of my clients.

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  15. interesting essay and lots to think about. If I have "free" time today, I will.
    Meanwhile, run amok! Happy Monday.

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  16. Intriguing thoughts indeed;
    So many valid questions bleed.
    Thankfully I’m not a credit slave;
    And I’m still thankful to live in this condition brave.

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    1. Not a credit slave is a win
      Never want to give that a spin

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  17. No one is ever truly free. That's for sure!

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  18. Replies
    1. Definitely two:)
      We're never as free as we'd like to be.

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    2. Yippeee haha

      Yeah, never are, but better than many.

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  19. 'Even the birds are chained to the sky. ' ~ Bob Dylan.

    Caged by our own greed, aggression and rampant consumerism gone horribly wrong. Thought provoking. A perfect and unique take on the prompt. Bravo.

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    1. Yep, greed aggression and rampant consumerism sure has most in their clutches.

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  20. I saw something the other day, probably on Facebook. It said "I spent the first 2/3 of my life working for things that I spend the last 1/3 trying to get rid of." If that doesn't sum up the consumerism way of life, I don't know what does.

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    1. haha that sure sums it up indeed. Why we do such crap, geez.

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  21. We all have to conform in some way or the other, we lose our freedom to gain the comforts of life. Well written and you made me think.

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    1. Yep, have to conform to have comforts indeed.

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  22. I am free to not read this but I have chosen to read it . This is definitely a different take on the prompt. And it's quite true though I like to not think about it too often.

    Have a lovely day.

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    1. Good you freely read away haha best not to think about such things too much indeed.

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  23. Your story brought to mind the song Slave to the Grind by Skid Row. It illustrates well how our desire for new gadgets, or comforts for life act as a carrot to keep us motivated. Well done, Pat.

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    1. Yeah, that carrot is always there in one way or another it seems, and usually it's nasty and rotten by the time you get to it.

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  24. Wow, not sure I feel caged. I do feel we have responsibilities and choices. But not caged. I do often think many people complicate their lives by the choices they make and then feel stressed and fail to realize they made it that way. First thing that comes to mind is having a pet. People feel constrained by them, have to get home to let them out, can't do xyz because they have to get home; but........they made they choice to complicate their life. Complain they con't go on vacation because of said pet. Things like that, but I can't say I feel caged. I do have some constraints, but to me; that's not the same thing.

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    1. Constraints are around us all. Yeah, people whine about things like that but they made the choice.

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  25. Are we ever truly free? Freedom comes in many forms. We are all tethered in some way.
    One might ask what is "true" freedom? We need things to survive so we are chained to jobs. Maybe one has an illness that cannot be cured and freedom is limited. This is a thought
    provoking story that makes readers pause to ponder what the definition of freedom means to them.

    Great Job, see I cannot compete with great writing like this...smiles...

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    1. Yeah, there are always things that others are screwed by that makes them less free. Each person has to make their own go and see how they end up.

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  26. You've gone profound at your sea
    I've ne'er been more impressed by thee
    I'm now thinking this lone thought:
    Freedom's only known
    by those who are not.

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    1. A fine lone thought
      Good to impress to with our plot

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  27. Nicely profound there. Well said.

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  28. Very, very nicely done! Quite a satisfying read!

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    1. Double the very and satisfying to boot, works for us.

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  29. There are certainly a lot of cages people can find themselves in, and societal expectations play a large role in leading people to choose them. A great take on the theme!

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  30. Freedom can mean different things to different people. To me, freedom means making my own choices. Of course there are limits to that, so I don't really know what I'm talking about. :)

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    1. haha always limits no matter what, some just have different levels of limits

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  31. Try walking around Home Depot with your trousers off to see how free you a...oops. I've said too much.

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    1. Now they are free to blame you for that idea.

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  32. Freedom comes with a cost - in every place and time.

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  33. No one is ever free. We live in cages of our own makings.

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  34. A clever take on 'Caged Bird' and well-concocted and scribed. Freedom is an illusion, but it drives society. You pose a real dilemma.

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    1. Drives everything it does indeed.

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    2. Congratulations on a winning piece that hooked the readers, especially the judges. My illusion continues to be burst, especially when I acquire shiny new bars,

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  35. 794 words that explains capitalism and society from a bird's point of view.
    Frighteningly accurate.
    I mean, people really don't think about this way. Probably because they'd go mad if they "saw" that cage. But... wow. Just wow.

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    1. Yeah, they are oblivious or just don't want to think about it, but it is surely there.

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  36. Well written, Pat. And thought provoking. Freedom is tenuous, it would seem.
    Nancy

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  37. Interesting post. It seems we are never free.
    ~Jess

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  38. A certainly different take on freedom.

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  39. An incredible way to look at things. Good use of the prompt.

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  40. Interesting take on the prompt. The bird has a point, but still... the human has the freedom to stop caring for the bird. That control the bird feels is also a dependency that could kill it...

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    1. That is true, we never really have the control we think.

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  41. Freedom is the state of being allowed to do what you want to do. How simple is that? Yet as you so clearly and interestingly (bird POV) point out, there is a bit of a catch. Well, there's always a catch, isn't there? Since I treasure my freedom--even my illusion of it--I enjoyed reading your take on the topic. Good job. Wouldn't have expected less.

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    1. Yeah, at least we can have the illusion of it if we don't think too much on it. And always a catch indeed.

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  42. Huge congratulations on your totally deserved WEP award.

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  43. Thank you Pat for sharing and congratulations on your Win ! πŸ’ πŸ† πŸ₯‡πŸŽŠ 🎈
    Such a wise analysis and fun take through the voice of the bird.
    Some may be free in the flesh, but enslaved in their mind, their ways, their petty habits, their material world. Let your soul soar with your writing ✍️.
    Have a beautiful Summer. Stock up on all that vitality floating about, for the cooler, darker days.

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    1. Yeah, something always enslaves someone no matter how much we try and think it doesn't. Can't get out of it. Write away we will and soar to fit the bill. Cooler darker days may be ahead, but meh.

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  44. Congratulations on your win! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Your bird's eye view is profound and spot on. We are never truly free, no matter how hard we try.

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