Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A Caged Lion

I am an old lion, trapped in a cage, pacing back and forth across the confining boundaries, glaring balefully through rusted iron bars at a landscape encrusted with dull grey concrete, fat with indolence and inactivity, tired of the constant sloughed march from end to end yet not knowing what else to do. Once I was king of the savanna, ruler in my domain, master of my own destiny. Once I was free, able to run wild without this metal containment.

Would that I could even pace, for that would make this metaphor all the more telling. But I cannot. My cage is not one of iron bars, yet I too look balefully out on the world beyond my windows, crusted in it's own icing of snow and concrete. I can see, off in the distance, a forested and grassy hillside, once open to me in all seasons, now closed to me completely, too much for my weakened body, too difficult for a wheelchair. My freedom, my domain, my destiny are all ripped from me, leaving me weary of this metal containment.

Katherine deserves more than this. She loves me, cries when I talk of life "after", cradles me up and holds me in my sorrow. She deserves someone who can give her so much more than I can, someone who can share her life for so much longer than I will. She, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life, laughing and ready for love, sharing, kind, giving, deserves someone who can return all of that and more. All I have is my cage, my containment, the old, rusting bars holding me in.

There is no dignity in this end, no march into the sunset, no sail over the horizon. There is no gentle evening of life awaiting me. This slow slide into ignominy, this ever increasing encagement, this dying body supported by metal and machine, leaves no time for sitting on a porch, holding hands, watching the sun go down. I am stultified, my mind alive, my body dying, my voice no longer able to rage at the dying of the light.

I am tired, so tired. Like that old lion, I am simply pacing out my days, waiting for an end which I know is coming, glaring at all in life I cannot do, angry with how trapped I feel, sorrowful for the way in which I must live. Like that old lion, I would once again feel the grass beneath my feet, the wind on my chest, the tug of life in my arms. Like that old lion, I would once again climb the hill, stand amongst the trees, and then lay down my body in peace, resolute in the knowledge that I had, just one more time, been the master of my own life.


  1. Good metaphor, but I've always thought of you as a big black bear, rather than a lion.

  2. Well put, and amazing. I feel the same as this