Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Chain That Binds

After feeling empowered by my building of a crude table using the cordless and some pieces of scrap wood earlier this summer (it's amazing what Red Bull and dopamine can do together!), I hung some things up inside and when doing so put a chain on the front door.  A chain...quite the symbol. This got me thinking about which side of the door was being blocked. Are you locked in or out?   Chains are used for a lot of things.  These door chains are used against intruders, but I surmise mostly to slow them down?   You can use them that way, but my chains are mostly used to contain what is inside, not to keep out what is outside.  Bound, locked, shut, blocked, closed, restrained, protected....chained. Restriction.
Celie is at the age now that she will unlock the dead bolt and go outside.  It's not a huge deal because there's not a four lane out there or anything, as we live in the woods, but being that she had also taken to relieving herself in the yard and on the front steps at the time as well as running into the woods, I decided to lock her in so she couldn't randomly sneak out without my knowledge. RESTRICTED! I was quite proud of putting this chain up myself, even if it was only to contain childish attempts at escape, it also represented a sense of protection, Self protection.  I suppose I have it better than Celie, the inner child, so to speak. She is at the mercy of the chain. It's better when you can be the master of the chain, but I suppose this is an art? Houdini was famous for chaining himself up, only to practice his escapes.  Chains can only hold those that don't understand how to break the locks, or simply choose not to.  Is that a metaphor?

Restrictions are sometimes for safety, as is the case with my daughter, or for mastery, as with Houdini. Mastering the Self is mastering the chain; picking the lock of your own prison. However, one of the biggest reasons for chains is fear. Fear of intruders, fear of being overtaken, fear of injury, violence, or death...even the fear of our own freedom. Chains make us feel secure and safe, separated from would-be intruders and threats. If we don't learn when it is safe to unchain the door, though, we can keep out the friends with the foes, block out the good with the bad. We need to master the chain that binds, so to speak. Like the door chain, these tethers are usually unlocked more often than they are broken. Some chains are damn near unbreakable, and the only way out is through the lock itself.

Chains are used to contain, restrain, restrict, block, and hold.  They are also used to lift, to raise, to pull through, and to hold together.  They can lock in as well as lock out, sometimes simultaneously. It protects as well as restricts; it goes both ways.  The protection is a restriction, but also the restriction is the protection. THAT is a metaphor.

Are we chaining out threats to our well being, or are the chains themselves a threat to our well being? It goes both ways.

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