Free As A bird ( I Wish I Could Make It All Better)
This is a 18″x24″ mixed media painting on wood from My Too Small series.
The image of a bird cage just keeps popping into my head and on to the pages of my sketchbook but, I until now, I have not included it in an actual painting.
I love the see-through quality, and delicate wire bars of this Victorian birdcage. As a sculpture, a birdcage is rather beautiful and decorative. (Indeed, many people collect birdcages just for that reason.) However, I can’t help looking at an empty birdcage without feeling a little sad. Like something is missing. (Well, a bird obviously!) Perhaps I just need to try thinking about it differently; that the bird has escaped its captures and is free. This would make me happy if I was not so sure that a bird that was once caged would most likely not fair so well out in the wild.
I worry about being over protective with my children. How will they fair if I never let them fail? I constantly try to protect them from any hurt or nastiness that this world may bring them. Will they be able to make it all better for themselves? Comfort their own hurt? How can I teach them these skills? And, indeed, is it already to late? If I keep them caged up now, what chance do they have? At the same time, I want their childhood to be magic, innocence and joy. Childhood should be paradise. It should be free of worry and sadness. It is the only time that we are truly allowed the freedom of those feeling. When I see children that are deprived of those things my heart aches.
It is such a balance isn’t it? Just finding that perfect balance is a life’s work. A mother’s work. (And father’s too, of course).