|The prison cell of Cagliostro, fortress of La Rocca, in San Leo, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Prison as a Metaphor
Now let's look at the metaphor of prison. Each of us are prisoners of some force or situation. Hopefully we have never or never will face literal imprisonment, but oftentimes we feel trapped by circumstance or influence that others exert upon us. In these times we might actually think to ourselves or say to others that we feel like a prisoner of such and such. In those times we can become filled with resentment, fear, and hopelessness.
Imprisonment without any actual barriers of confinement might include addictions, abusive relationships, lack of financial resources, physical impairment, or any number of other difficult situations from which we find it difficult to extricate ourselves. Sometimes the overbearing influences of a friend, family member, co-worker, or a bad boss can cause us to feel trapped in a relationship that can lead to feelings of fear, self-doubt, and codependency.
Obligations can also create a sense of imprisonment. Some might feel that they have to go to school or pursue a particular career path in order to fulfill the expectations of someone else. Others can feel stuck in a job because they need the paycheck and in doing so they might long for the unfulfilled dreams of the job that they don't have.
The metaphorical prison can encompass so many things. It might be money--too much or the lack thereof. The prison might be our possessions or the people in our lives. We can be imprisoned by geography--the place where we live. Our symbolic prisons don't necessarily confine us within walls. Our prisons are shaped by our minds and the perceptions we cultivate about our lives. Influence is also exerted from the outside, but ultimately we are each the architect of our own prison.
One who is in love might construct walls consisting of idealistic perceptions, unrealistic dreams, burning desire, or outright lust. Their time might be consumed with pining, writing poems or love letters, or any other pursuit of the lovesick soul. A writer can be a prisoner of word counts, research, the computer, and even their blogs. Whenever a passion is involved the risk of imprisonment increases. Whether it be a significant other, children, pets, a home, a job, or just about anything you can think of, we are all prisoners serving a short term or a long one in order to pay for our passion or for the thing that has managed to ensnare us in some way.
As for me I like the idea of being a prisoner of hope. That's a term that came from the Bible--Zechariah 9:12 to be precise. Hope that is not some worthless excuse or some unattainable pie-in-the-sky dream is the greatest drive that propels us forward. To go through life without hope is to aim toward a future where all is darkness, not unlike one who would drive in their car on the darkest night with no headlights. To live without hope is to expect to live no longer.
Hope is that great whatever-it-is that lies somewhere ahead of us; that for which we dream and strive and dream some more as we continue onward toward our personal El Dorado in the who-knows-where. We can dream, but dreams are nothing without the hope that they can be one day possibly achieved. And even if the dream is never achieved, hope provides the energy and sense of meaning to pursue the quest. Without hope there is little to sustain us.
What imprisons you? Have you become a prisoner of hope? Metaphorically speaking, what does breaking free from prison mean to you?
What Is This Post Leading To?
Tossing It Out already know, sometimes my posts are not just posts, but preludes to more posts. This one is no exception. Though I think I've brought up a relevant point regarding a subject that I think is of interest, this post is thematically connected to the posts you'll be finding on this site in the coming week and which will culminate in my song choice for my Battle of the Bands post on Sunday November 15th.
This current post is a bit of a clue to that song choice--a song that likely few of you will be familiar with even though it is a song well known to millions of people. This song has been recorded by many artists since it was first released in 1981 when it became a huge hit for the original artist. This artist has international renown and besides having released several albums he has appeared in movies and on television. His music has influenced numerous artists.
Since these clues will probably be of little help to most of you I will be having BOTB contributor Guilie Castillo Oriard from Quiet Laughter actually join me at my blog on Wednesday when she will not only introduce the song to you, but also tell you a bit about her book The Miracle of Small Things which has recently been released. On BOTB day she and I will present related Battles with songs in a similar genre.
This should prove to be a unique experiment as well as a mind expanding learning experience for all of us. Please be here on this coming Wednesday, Friday, and finally Sunday November 15th when my next Battle of the Bands is presented.