33 years in prison. 2 decades in solitary. 1st day out.

After nearly 33 years in prison — and over two decades in solitary confinement — Jack Powers
embarks on the first day of his new life.  13 min video. But worth your time.

Link to NY Times video here.

Moved…


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly

 

I wish, for the me I was then, that I could add one more flash, much further forward. I wish that the me nodding out in a cold cinderblock cell could see ahead five years, or even ten… I wish she could see who she will become, and the parts of herself she will leave behind. The darkness that she will learn to live with, and the light she will learn to let in.

Keri Blakinger, random excerpts from Corrections in Ink: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Press, June 7, 2022)


Notes:

  • See prior post on Blakinger’s new book, here.
  • Book Review by David Sheff in NY Times: A Harrowing Journey From Cornell to Addiction to Prison
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

“As much as I liked the fast pace of that hardboiled world, in the slow moments I wondered about the point of it all.”

“I learned quickly that there’s an intrinsically desolate feeling to being homeless. It was something I did not expect, and it cut far deeper than the simple, logistical difficulties and social stigmas of being dirty and unhoused. There’s something specific about not having a place where you are welcome or safe when the sun goes down. For an underage girl fresh on the street, safe was not really an option—but after a few days, I found welcome: the Family under the parking garage. The Family was a motley collection of a couple dozen young homeless goths and assorted street people dwelling beneath the first level of the curving parking garage across the street from the Alewife train station—the end of the line.”

I’ll have a year clean on the 20th and I won’t get a certificate for that, but it’s the only thing that I deserve one for. But then, I guess maybe nothing really important in life can be validated by a piece of paper.

“I was not tempted; drugs finally felt like a past life, an escape I did not miss. Unlike so many of my friends, I was not haunted by cravings or drug dreams, and I felt like I’d almost cheated my way out of addiction. Sometimes, I’m still not sure to what extent I got sober and to what extent I just found more socially acceptable obsessions like running and crosswording and writing.”

“When the end is near (in prison, time slows to a trickle. Not the way it does on the ice at Nationals, when adrenaline moves faster than the ticking clock. Not the way it does at the top of a gorge, when the world is frozen. And not the way it does in The Place, when the hours blend together and disappear. This is not reality fading away or closing in but simply refusing to move forward, with such stubbornness that it seems physically painful—like the struggle of a wild animal trapped in a tar pit and straining to break free. In prison terms, this is getting short. That’s the word for when your bid is almost over, and you are about to go home.”

Keri Blakinger, random excerpts from Corrections in Ink: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Press, June 7, 2022)


Notes:

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