Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday Wish (30)

Prison bars
Photo by verbo10 via Flickr

Thick, grey, weighted air, heavy with unlove. Slow steps and bowed heads, bodies dressed in military green. I watched silently as I waited. I breathed deeply as I gazed. I felt as most didn’t dare.
            ‘Good morning Officer Thorpe,’ I said, his keys jingling with excitement as he opened the gate to let me in.
            ‘Morning, Miss Brynne. Friday already? Comes faster every week. Must be all the fun we been having here in prison.’ He chuckled, itching with the same spunk that kept his smile real. ‘The guys’l be happy to see you, always are. I’ll send ‘em right over.’
            ‘Thank you, Thorpe. Happy Morning,’ I called out as I started off across the gravel yard to the small cinder block room that waited for me, just the same, every Friday morning.
            Today I carried a small cd player in one hand and a bag filled with art supplies in the other—trusting the energy of the day to dictate our activities. Funny though, this day, unlike most, I could feel what they needed even before I walked in.

            ‘Mornin’ Miss Brynne,’ said a handful of men in unison, their eyes hungry for attention.
            ‘Morning Plumer, Alonso, Walter, Sam… How was your week? I sent ya’ll some birds. Did you see ‘em? Did you hear ‘em?’
            Plumer, who lost his voice, and his mind, in Vietnam looked at me with a soft, thankful smile. I returned it.
‘Plumer did. What about the rest of you?’
‘I heard one. Think it was yesterday. Sounded like Spring. Sounded happy, sounded free.’ That was Walter. He was in his fifties with hair like a bird’s nest. He loved birds. And after twenty-five years of doing time, his quirky was endearimg.
‘Yep. That was him! Nice, Walter. How’d I know you’d hear him?’
Now there were two smiles. Three if you counted mine.


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I asked them to close their eyes, to imagine as I spoke...

The bird is green. Green as the grass under a Carolina summer sky. You look up as it flies toward you. No one else is around. Not a one. You are all alone. So when he swoops low and lands at your feet you don’t look around for show and tell, you just stare. Open mouthed. As it motions for you to step aboard. Step aboard? But you’re just a tiny feller, you think out loud. So he grows. Big and hefty. Fluffy enough for a soft ride. And anywhere you want to go…

The razor wire looks like a stretched out slinky from far above. And camp looks like a silly dollhouse made for ants. You giggle. How’d such an insignificant place ever give you such grief, you wonder. You sigh and decide to think about more important things. Like the nearing airplane. Friendly faces point and wave from their little round windows. You feel like a celebrity and wave back. You reach down to pat the belly of your fluffy bird, your fondness for him growing by the second…

First you want to visit your mama, to give her a kiss and tell her you’re ok, that you’ve managed to keep your heart still lovin’, which is no small task considering the circumstances. After that, you leave it up to Bird. You know he came for a reason and you darn well know you better let him show you what that reason is. He does some loop-de-loops that make your belly do some flips and for a quick second you feel like a kid again. Wow. You let out a big laugh, the wind rubbin’ your cheeks like a dog’s in the back of a pick up truck. You close your eyes to feel it even better. Damn, that feels good…

Before you know it, you’re swooping low, closer and closer to…what’s that? An island? Yep. You haven’t ever seen one before but it sure looks tropical. And warm. The ocean lickin’ at its edges like bathwater in a big ole’ tub. And are those people? Hmm…hopefully they are nice. Yep. Seems they are. They all have smiles and are waving. You think you even see a few with happy tears…

As you step off Bird’s back, you’re encircled and held, hugged and embraced by all those in your past and your future who have, and who will, love you, care for you, want the best out of life for you. People that you thought had forgotten you. People that you thought you had forgotten. People you have yet to meet. And each one filled with love...for you. They step forward, one by one, to embrace you, to remind you that you aren’t alone, to fill you up with hope, with happy, with love…


I looked around at the closed eyes in the room--murderers, rapists, arsonists and simple thieves. Many, had tears streaming down their faces. Most, seemed deeply affected by the imagined love directed toward their hearts. And all, had transformed themselves into hope, into gentle, into love...their faces showed me so.


*          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for You?

Listen this week, listen to your deepest needs and like a big fluffy bird, let your imagination honor those needs into freedom, let your Self fly out of your prisons and into hope, into gentle, into a world warm with love. 

If a small group of inmates can free themselves from their literal prison, then you can, too. After all, you know as well as I that a change in perspective can mean a change in life, a gift we can all give ourselves any time we choose.

15 comments:

  1. Whew. That guided meditation brought tears to my eyes, sweet Brynne. Absolutely beautiful; tremendously powerful. xoxo

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    1. Ahh, Ellen...soo happy it touched you. Your words and depth of emotion, touch me. Thank you, sweet soul.

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  2. Brynne, I'm with Ellen. I'm crying with the inmates too! Because we all need to feel loved and embraced, don't we? Thank you for reminding us of the importance of freeing ourselves from the constraints that hold us back;that prevent us from feeling love and loving back. I will not be held hostage today or any day. I will be like that bird and roam where I please, hopefully spreading glee wherever I go! Thank you for the lovely soul, sweet sister! :)

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    1. You make my heart soar, dear, dear Bella! Thank you for your words, your open heart, and your beautiful spirit that I can feel all these thousands of miles away!:)

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  3. Ok, you made me start my day with tears! This was so beautiful and powerful. We are all human beings needing love aren't we? Even...no ESPECIALLY the most hardened criminals. There is humanity in everyone. I loved this so much, thank you for sharing. I loved the guided imagery as well and plan to try it myself!

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    1. Beautifully said, Michael Ann...yes, especially those who have fallen thru the cracks. I believe most criminals are criminals because we as a people/society somehow failed them. Soo happy you like the post, dear soul. You give me smiles:)

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  4. Beautiful Brynne! What a privilege for you to do this work, and what a gift for the inmates!
    Lori

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    1. What a privilege is right, Lori! I started by volunteering and loved it so much I accepted a full time job...worked 10 hour days and came home physically tired but always with a soaring spirit!:)

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  5. This is so potent...as are you

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    1. Hugging you, Jo. I can feel you are carrying a lot...I love you, you know.

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  6. You always take me places I never knew I could go, and show me things I never realized were there. Thank you Brynne for being you. Oh, and by the way, your light is just as bright, even though I'm looking at it from waaaaaay up here. I love to fly! :-)

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    1. Of COURSE you love to fly, my friend! Thats where we first met...at the second star from the right:) Thank you for the smiles that only you can give me, John.

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  7. Thank you for knowing that those who run afoul of the law are worthy of the time and energy of others. So few people do.

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    1. It was never hard for me to see the beauty in their souls. Most people in prison are stripped of their shells--raw, vulnerable, real. For me its always been the people on the outside, those who live their lives with layer after layer of armor, who are hardest to 'see'. So often I remember getting off work and going to the grocery store to just stop, stare and feel. I missed the vulnerability of the hearts and souls in prison and lamented the fact that these 'free' hearts and souls seemed many times more imprisoned than those behind bars. Prison was where I wanted to spend my time and energy. My time there was one of the most beautiful gifts of my life.

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    2. thanks for your comment, Karen...thanks for visiting. I wish you a vulnerable, raw, real kinda day:)

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