Life in Captivity

I know its been a while since I have posted, which is directly related to the following post. I seemed to have locked myself away from the more intellectual and quizzical parts of my mind in an act of self-preservation. I found that contrary to my intuition, blogging about my worries and concerns in the world actually made me feel even more insignificant.  It made me realize that many of my inner circle were cut from the same wool as the sheep I was criticizing. I retracted from blogging in a childish effort to ignore the fact that no one cared. No one cared about America crumbling, humanity falling, or my opinions of the former.  I poured myself into work, billiards, and alcohol in order to blend in with masses, but I could not contain my howl. I am back again to call out to all the other wolves out there searching for their pack.  So here it goes, my first howling in a while.

Although many physicians believe that the mental illness known as depression is widely over diagnosed, it is easy to ascertain that there seems to be a decrease of the overall happiness in the world.  Our overall mood as a species could be best described as melancholy or despondent.  I will admit that I am no psychologist nor do I have any intention of using actual data to substantiate the following conclusion. I am simply an observer of the world and what I conclude seems all too fitting.  It seems to me that we,as a species, are so far removed from our natural behavior and environment that we have literally forgot how to be human.  We have caged ourselves in and now rot away in self enforced captivity.

We now live in an alien and artificial environment ignoring our instincts to hunt, to run, and to function in a pack.  We have ignored the pull to the wild, made homes out of our cages, and have become bored with a world that is filled with excitement. This type of despondency is not unique to humans.  It won’t take long for someone searching the web to find hundreds of articles about the negative impact of captivity on the mental health of animals from pets to animals at your city zoo.  Most animals, when housed in small barren recreations of their environments, will sleep and lie around more, lash out, or behave in various ways unique to captivity.  The only difference between our zoo friends and us is that we choose our cages. We willingly lock ourselves in to tiny apartments, in a cramped city, working a job we have no desire doing for just enough money to pay for our enclosures.  The worst part is that we have been caging ourselves in for so long, that most people believe it to be our natural environment.

I will not allow myself to be caged any longer; however, just like releasing an animal into the wild of years of captivity, I must start slow. I will begin this fall by backpacking the Shenandoah in my home state of Virginia, I will hunt and use the meat to feed my family, and I will continue howling in hope that I find my pack.

4 thoughts on “Life in Captivity

  1. Excellent post/rant. I am not sure where to begin. I agree with much of what you say. I too see the world in surreal terms where slavery is called freedom, surveillance is called protection, mass murder is called ‘liberation’ and torture is defended by leaders of the ‘free’ world. I am not a hunter but given pending California firearms legislation to ban sales of semi-automatic rifles with a detachable magazine, I am probably never going to get a chance to learn even if I wanted to. Of one thing I am convinced. If you keep howling (writing blog posts will do :-)) sooner or later other members of the pack will find you. Your job is to keep your truth and skills alive until they are needed because one day they will needed.

  2. Eric

    I echo Malcolm’s sentiments. And as usual, these posts bear reflection. In this case, it prompted me to write something, Not sure what it is other than an amalgamation of thoughts that subtlely describe building your own castle or prison. It lacks an external maligned impetus and simply focuses on one’s choices, however presented. If it were to include a malefactor, it would be the insidiousness of controlling the early formation of a worldview by govt, media, and educators..until we are competent to continue the building on our own, much as you lament. By the time we recognize the fishbowl we have built provides a distorted view of reality, many of us have left youth far behind and simply enjoy the view rather than start anew. The key is to initiate realization sooner, rather than later, to question, to promote critical thinking..all at odds with being governed in this era. In any case, here it is.

    A living kaleidoscope
    Divined thru recollection
    Shades of unexperienced richness,
    Interspersed with familiar hues
    Unfulfilled desires judging
    Listening for whispers of the unencountered
    Peering into the undulating depths of the unknown
    For promises of novel inspiration, motivation, elation
    Careful or capricious selection
    Determined or hesitant steps in any direction
    Guided or misdirected
    Color the wheel and form the images
    Building the window to the world
    Multicolored, multi-paned, clear or broken
    Interpreting the view
    Affects the choice to do or not do
    Affirms what we can or can’t do
    Whether or not it be true
    Building our own fishbowl
    One pane at a time

    Be careful the panes you choose
    And the colors you use
    To paint your world of views

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