White Marble, 13" x 7" x 7" Left, front, Right, back.
A Continuing Discussion about the Seeds and Pods
of Sculptor TJ Mabrey
bound and gagged
[ bound n gagd ]


Bound is a word we immediately recognize to describe things that are tied up, like the pages of a book, or being linked to other things or people by common values, such as 'we are bound together.' But it is also referred to in police reports to indicate a person that has been restrained, to prevent them from physically moving by having their hands bound together with an electrical strap or a zip tie. 

To gag is to stop up the mouth of (a person) by putting something in it, thus preventing speech or free expression. Gagging is restraint by force or authority from speech; to silence. A person may have legal constraints imposed upon them in a gag order or nondisclosure agreement, using the court system to prevent them from speaking.

restrained, contained and silenced

Bound and gagged. These two words used together represent peoples throughout our past and current history who have been silenced, prevented from speaking freely through any means and on many levels to render them unable to breathe. Feeling a stake driven into the heart of their identity; a child that is silenced in fear of who he or she may become, or a flower which cannot bloom because it has a bound bud.


A bud is that kid that lived down the street, your best friend in the world. Every 9-year old kid deserves a buddy. Sometimes it's a dog, or cat, or bird. Sometimes it's the kid who sleeps next to you in a cold cell behind a chain-link fence, at the border.

A bud is a leaf or blossom not yet unfolded, something not yet fully developed, but full of potential life. A bud is like a child before puberty who wonders, "who am I?", "what am I?"

The potential of a bud should be imaginable. But nature doesn't always turn out to be exactly what the rest of the world expects. With time, a bud opens to reveal its true self. Living things should be given the possibility to be realized, imagined.

Listen to Imagine, by John Lennon, 1971, sung by UNICEF World.

"Meaningful reading with lots of food for thought! Appreciate your insights.
Thank you!" - Mary Gawron, Austin, Texas