Friday, May 27, 2011

Journal " No One Should Be Like A Caged Bird"

Yesterday I sat down to paint a journal page in which seemed like it had been a long time. I looked through a few images and when I started I thought I would do a  journal page about my daughter's wedding, but as I was painting it was changing and being more about women, relationships and how things can get out of context.

I remember the era my grandma was from. Most women didn't learn to drive, they lived with their husbands, stayed home and raised their families. Although my grandma did do some work, she always made money from home but it wasn't enough to support herself. As I journal this that is part of  the happy part memory. She did have some money for her needs but ultimately she was a caged bird with no choice, no way to emancipate herself from a situation that was ultimately not good for her. Yes she loved her husband but he had issues that were not dealt with. At times he was very cruel to her verbally and down right scary at times. She stood up to that but never left. Luckily she was never hurt.

So what I am trying to say as I journal these thoughts is I am so happy we live in a day and age where we are more educated as women, have the capabilities to make it on our own and have a voice. We can stand up for ourselves and there are places women in need can get help. No one should be like a caged bird.

That is the title of my journal page No one should be like a caged bird and is written next to the image of the young lady. On the top left, but you can't see it in this photograph. Next to her, along side the bird cage I painted in white on the cage to represent the light / escape from being caged. The figure in the white with the bird represents her being freed. At the bottom of the page is a figure with a heart with wings. This represents listening to your heart and having the wings / guts to leave. The photo with the feet in boots with wires represent that even though things can get tangled that there is light there and that you can find a way out. On my page under that a voice says "No escape" yet on the side of my photo where it doesn't show in the photograph I took it says " Find One"

I could write so much more about this subject, but I chose to leave my journal and page as it  is, words unspoken. Luckily today you can speak the unspoken. There is hope you don't have to be imprisoned by any circumstance.

Today I am choosing to share this with my Paint Party Friday Friends as most are women. I hope to create a large painting from some of the concepts of my journal page. When I do, although it may not be right away I promise to share it when done. I know this is more of a somber subject but, as an artist I feel not everything has to be about something that is pretty. This will be a two part post and on Sunday I will have some journal prompt ideas posted for anyone who would like to create a journal page. Today I leave you with a quote I just read for the first time by Maya Angelou and the thought as she so puts, never stand on the grave of your dreams.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.


  1. Love what you wrote and how you managed to put it into journal. Beautiful!

  2. What a wonderful idea for your journal. Works well and I'm so happy that we women have our voices. Know something though? I've always had my voice and still do.:)) Have a great weekend.

  3. OMG! Beautifully written! I am so glad you wrote on my blog, not because now i have one more comment, simply because that made me come here, to your blog and read this amazing post.. Thanks for taking the time to visit and read my blog. I am so happy you and others can get inspiration, this is what this is about!! Have a lovely weekend!

  4. nice tribute to women of today. I was just reading in this morning's paper that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive, quite shocking.

  5. A wonderful and meaningful collage. We are so lucky in this day and age. Happy PPF, Annette x

  6. Fabulous post. And great to take the inspiration of the poem and incorporate it into your journal. Wonderful so far!

  7. i love how art journaling inspires exploration of thoughts and feelings. Lovely subject to appreciate and wonderful expression in your art.

  8. vehicle Transportation feelings to a canvas ..... well.

  9. I think sometimes the most powerful pages have few words. This is a nice ensemble! Happy PPF!

  10. What a moving and powerful message. Happy PPF!

  11. Indeed a difficult topic, but so important. I like how you handle it and it gave me a lot to think about. It doesn't need many words, the page speaks for itself.

  12. So very true Theresa. I grew up in the 50's and my own mother didn't work. She didn't learn to drive until she was in her late 30's and didn't work until after my dad died when I was 17. She HAD to go to work to support three teenagers. It was a very difficult time for her. We still have a way to go with women, but I feel we are well on the way. Thank you for this wonderful post. And you are doesn't always have to be pretty! Rock on girl! :-)

  13. Beautiful post... I love the colors and textures of your page!


    p.s. "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" is a fabulous book!

  14. Such a powerful journal page. I look forward to seeing the painting that comes from this.

  15. WONDERFUL post and journal page! Thank you for your words! I've always loved that poem.

  16. Thought provoking and such a strong journal concept; there is a series of work hiding in all that emotion and thoughtfulness. Can't wait to see where it leads you.

  17. You are so right--everything doesn't have to be about rainbows and unicorns. Thank you for sharing this meaningful work with us--keep it up!

  18. Wonderful journal page. Such a great post!

  19. Journaling is about what ever we want or need it to be. And I am happy you get great satisfaction from doing what your doing I can see the reasoning behind those thoughts going on and some women did indeed feel trapped (of this I am certain). But some really loved being FT mothers. ;0)

    Love Dawn xx

  20. Dear Dawn, I never thought anyone would read into that post about not being happy as full times mothers. I am a full time mom and artist. I love being that. I just meant that we have grown in the fact that many of us have the opportunities to support ourselves if something is wrong in a relationship or happens to our partners. I raised my older 4 children staying at home until the youngest was 4 and the oldest 12, then due to circumstance I had to go to work and finish supporting them alone. Later on I met and remarried and had my youngest child. But I still kept working, just about 4 years ago decided I wanted to stay home again with my youngest I had. I felt like I was missing out on her, being there and not fulling of my dreams which was to be at home for them, have the freedom of being able to visit my older children and to work on my passions of art when she is in school. I applaud full time moms and in these economic times!! If not fortune we have to be all that more frugal and inventive on how we help our families. ie couponing or .......

    My thoughts were only of those who feel if they are in a situation that is not positive and loving that there is more opportunity for support, help and having the education of being able to make choices and even knowing how to drive vs years ago.

    I hope that I didn't offend anyone.

    Sincerely, (another mom who loves being in the heart of her home as a stay at home mom) Theresa

    Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and comments.

  21. Theresa, what a powerful post...I've shared the same thoughts, but not quite a beautifully as you...amazing♥♥

  22. I really love your art and words, so touching powerful and true.

  23. Wow....this is such a deep and meaningful page for you, I see....makes me feel fortunate, too, to be in a place of mutual respect and love :)

    I wanted to congratulate you on your daughter's nuptials....perhaps, subconsciously, this provided some comfort to do this page while first thinking of her know that she will never end up being a caged bird...

    It can be bittersweet to let our little birds go, to fly off into the world to make a nest of their own :)

  24. Lisa, Paula, Cameron, thank you also for you lovely words. I appreciate all the readers for taking the time to leave their thoughts~ All my best to you all, Theresa


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