In Rilke’s poem about a panther pacing to and fro in a cage, I find much that interests me. As a human I am flawed, but sometimes my foibles can be good. I am unrestricted for the most part. I choose to partake in the structured life system within society while aware that I can leave it at any time I please. Why do I stay here? If a fish were set free to sea, surely it wouldn’t go back to its bowl even if it had the chance. There is a security in living in a cohesive manner, a manner that causes me to rely on others, and them on me so that the mechanism runs smoothly. The panther in Rilke’s poem has no choice but to live for each bar, hoping that change will be born from repetition. The restricted life has its freedoms, but still is stifled. The greatest battle for freedom comes from within, as will can drive us to our greatest moments of inspiration, but only if we can harness it. The caged animal has no option but to suppress its will and cope with its situation. For a pent up being, there is no existence in confinement, which makes the calling from the outside world even louder.
For beings to shine brightest they must expand, and go away from the comfortable source that we started from. Much like the journey of light, we can explore far and unexpected things, but only if our shade is lifted.