G Grace in Freedom and the Gilded cage

“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”
― Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do (Goodreads) –

A gilded cage below – there is no doubt that this has been my environment just about ever since I was born. I deliberately chose an image of an empty cage. Living life while in a gilded cage with many freedoms – but at the expense of others; which puts those who have ‘freedom’ at the expense of others, in another sort of cage, a crampedness of spirit, a lack of grace, ‘set patterns’ as Bruce Lee says above – We choose our chains I suppose; will we acknowledge our guilt?

Di R sent me Wendell Berry’s poem as her contribution to my request. I know I’ve used it before in a previous post maybe last year or the year before, or one of you sent it as a comment to one of my posts. It’s perfectly apt, and gives for me the sense of being in the grace of freedom at least for a while in the beauty of Nature –

Jan T says: As an South African it means to me that all people are equal, all races are equal as compared to the race issues before 1994.

But it also means as a white man my freedom economically is less than ..

Jüte S: Freedom to me means the joy of being able to act freely without any sense of self-inflicted obligation or guilt.

Thanks for reading! I’d love you to comment –


27 Comments on G Grace in Freedom Guilt and the Gilded Cage

  1. When i hear about the challenges of other women living in the same country, it hurts me to see the way they are suffering and yes I feel guilty when I am unable to help them come out of their bondages. .. they have a right to live a respected and decent life, but who will influence them, rights will never be given to us, it has to be taken… it has taken a long time for me to realise that i need to claim my own rights and do not be a the mercy of others… never heard the quote of Augustine , thanks for sharing

    • As I’m writing I’m half listening to a debate on the radio on gender based violence and the various political parties responding to the question of its prevalence. And this is true that we need to claim our own rights if they are not freely given. A harsh fact .. Thanks for coming by Genevive.

  2. Thank you for this post. I’ve sometimes taken for granted the freedom of self-expression and being who I am. I’ve focused on the inner ways I censor and limit my own freedom as opposed to having to fight against outer restraints. Why am I so fortunate? Why did this gift come to me and not the dark-skinned children born at the same time? I asked that question as a kid and I ask it again as an aging adult watching my country becomes more openly racist.

    • I guess we do take our freedoms for granted Elaine until they are taken away. Race is used as a political tool, to divide and conquer, an age-old dynamic. Why on earth does it still persist? Will we not learn from history? The repetition compulsion as Freud called it, means that the same way of being will continue ad infinitum until the pattern is broken.

      re: the gift of you being born you .. someone who sees the injustices abounding and actually uses ‘you’ to do something about it. It’s a question I often ask myself as well – why me? How come I got the gift and so many didn’t? What does this mean? How best can I use this gift? Must I? Shall I? How much do I want to? etc –

  3. Wendell Berry’s words, usually connecting human life with nature, are always inspiring. Thanks for this, and for the powerful pun, gilt/guilt. Much to ponder here, Susan!

  4. An interesting post, Susan. We all live in a guilded cage as none of us really have freedom of choice due to our man made bars. We sell our time and souls to our employers and live behind bars of debt and obligations.

    • Thanks muchly Merril – btw there are books of that title “The Gilded Cage’ – I had the quickest of looks now now ..

  5. Boy, I’m going to need to ponder your words for a while. Do some of us live in gilded cages, while others are chained in? I had not given that theory much thought, but you do have a good point. My brain is whirling! 😉

    • Ha ha sorry about your whirling brain Gwynn! (mine too). Yes I do think many of live in gilded cages while others are chained in ..

  6. Gilt/Guilt – these homophones offer a very powerful message I’ll will no doubt be continuing to ponder all day Susan. Thank you! Lillian Hellman’s words strike such resonance in my heart, and think it should be adopted as part of everyone’s moral code.

    • Thanks so much Deborah. Can such a moral code be ‘developed’ I wonder – i.e. that we can’t call ourselves free until all are?

  7. I’m so pleased you included Wendell Berry’s beautiful nature poem, “The Peace of Wild Things.” It’s one of my favourite poems ever! For being outside (and usually in ancient woodlands) fills me with a kind of beauty, freedom and grace I struggle to find words for. Hmm, sometimes I even think of my own house as a “gilded cage” (not in the winter!) and long to escape to the countryside and wander there aimlessly with my notebook, birdsong and pen in hand. Thank you for sharing another inspiring post. Love and light, Deborah.

    • I was thinking when I used Di R’s image and in drafting this poast, that it was either you or Elaine who sent it in a comment Deborah – it may well have been you. There’s something so graceful and gracious about it .. ‘day-blind stars’ – 🙂
      Love & Light to you, Susan

  8. This weekend, someone showed me a photo he’d taken at a state mental hospital made into a museum. It was a large metal cage for inmates who were acting out ‘back in the day.’ It was startling and stark.

Comments are closed.