‘what is growing in you and what is dying away?’

With these questions we ended last night’s writing circle inside Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, where our circle had just doubled in size in one session. With so many women new to our practices, I was stunned by the honesty and depth of responses to this question. Over and over, the hunger of women inside to be heard, validated;  to connect, change;  emerges loud and clear in voices ranging from muffled and scared to determined and strong. What follows are some of their responses:

Hope is growing in me. Despair is dying away.

What is growing? my spirituality, my connection in this world. What is dying? self-hatred.

Faith is growing inside of me; lies are dying away!

What is growing in me is my strength to be my own individual
and dance to my own drum, singing my own song.
What is dying in me would be the addict
which I’m happy to see moving along.

Growing inside – eagerness, support system, will power. Dying away – addiction, let down.

Growing inside me is the anticipation of getting my freedom, to be home for the holidays, and reunited with my children. My time here is dying away, and I couldn’t be happier.

Growing in me – my stomach. Dying away – I feel my spirituality, my integrity may be suffering, or dying away L I am cussing more, laughing less; My language is different, and I cry a lot.

What is growing is energy and enthusiasm for our circle inside. . . . and dying, discouragement that maybe others do not value it as much as I.

“There is no such thing as a saint without a past or a sinner without a future.” Growing – integrity, balance and wit. Dying – stubborn, withdrawn and unsure; sense of entitlement for a rough life is gone. Thanks.

. . . and you?

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