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Tag Archives: freedom

Everyday Outfit

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I wear the same thing everyday. Not the same exact thing, mind you, but if you didn’t know any better it might seem that way. And sometimes I do wear the same exact outfit. I mean, it’s not like I work in the mines.

Green shirts. Brown pants. Long sleeves in winter. Short sleeves in summer.

It’s surprising how oddly challenging it is to find plain green women’s shirts. And not just any ol’ green shirt will due, either. It has to be the right cut and hue. In the men’s department plain green shirts are a staple, but apparently women prefer shirts with fringe, frill, trim, lace, ribbon, some kind of bedazzled effect, unusable pockets, embroidered kittens or words emblazoned on the fabric. And all that is fine for other women, it’s just not for me.

I progressed quite naturally into this daily outfit, about 3 or 4 years ago. It just seemed to make sense. And it’s afforded me so much more time and freedom. I used to invest countless amounts of energy into trying on different clothes every morning and futzing with my hair – attempting to find just the “right” combination. What about these pants? Nope. What about this top? Nope. Do these pants make my ass look fat? Does this shirt go with my complexion today? Bleck! I don’t miss those times.

I’m free! :)

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Shared Humanity

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This drawing was done by a friend of mine who’s currently incarcerated at a correctional facility in Shelby, MT. He sent it a few months back in one of the letters he wrote to me. I keep it in my journal as a symbolic reminder of all those who are pent up behind bars, as a reminder that I should never take my own freedom for granted, as a reminder that there’s no separation between myself and others in the grand and elaborate web of interconnection.

Today I will be going to visit another friend who’s incarcerated at Montana State Prison. We’ve been exchanging letters for over a year now but this will be my first visit. Early this morning, accompanied by thoughts of both of these friends, I wrote this in my journal by book light (I’m thinking of having it be a spoken word piece to perform):

I can’t even imagine
what it would be like
in the confines of prison
enmeshed amid concrete and steel
needing to become as hard and unforgiving
as the materials that bind you,
so as not to suffer the swift consequences
of being weak

inmates, guards, administration,
our government, us
we’re not so easily separated into the
labeled boxes or thick walled cells we seek
no one is foot lose and fancy free of responsibility
for locking someone up and throwing away the key
so they could spend the rest of eternity behind bars
all because they never had the opportunity
to be well taken care of

right now, currently, I have two friends in prison
both for different reasons
both working the system from opposite spectrums:
one who’s full of remorse, shame, and regret
the other who’s not, who’d do it all over again,
and probably will when he gets out –
shoot, he’s still doing it now on the inside –
and neither one is a bad guy,
although many would disagree,
those who believe in some kind of fairy tale version of evil,
which to me is taking the easy way out

we’re all unfolding products of a myriad of situations
a living, breathing, physical manifestation
of everything that has even happened
passed down through our cultural influences
and blood relations

now, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be jails
or that everyone should be set free
or that there aren’t certain people who are wired
a little bit differently and might always pose a threat
but I’m not ready to discard anyone from the human race just yet
by raising myself up on a pedestal and casting judgement
with cruel intent looking down through narrow eyes
while we’re all born from the same earth under the same skies

it just doesn’t make sense to me to ignore our shared humanity
by hiding in the flawed guise of justice
I think it’s important to keep in mind that under the same conditions
those we deem as criminals could just as easily be us

 

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Retreat Poems

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I wrote these short poem type writings while on our local spring retreat last weekend:

I see my light shining

like rays of spring sun bouncing off the mountain lake

into the gentle eyes of children and once children –

With stomach rising and falling

just as the sun and moon rise and fall each day

just as the breeze rises and falls by the water’s edge

and up over the distance rocky peaks

I settle into this precious moment

as if it were the only moment there is

because it is

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Rough cut exposed wooden beams hang over my bed

showcasing a spider web or two or three

A bare bulb screwed into its fixture

illuminates my room in unfiltered, unflattering light

A bulky water heater nestles into the corner

(gurgling around 2:30am each morning)

To become attached to form is foolish

to become attached to form is to suffer

to let go is freedom

 

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