‘I am who I was . . . and more’

Raven signing the book

Raven signing the book

These seven simple words contain worlds of insight, compassion, gratitude and change.

They are the kernel of notes that keep coming to us in the aftermath of our book launch of HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write last week.

These seven words capture the experience of the listener who penned them in gratitude and awe after hearing nine previously-incarcerated women read their words from the book.

These same words have been re-stated in endless variation by others who were similarly moved by what they heard.

And they capture the essence of heartfelt thanks from the women writer-readers themselves. Writing changes us. ALL of us. Read on…   

I will never be able to say thank you enough times. You have no idea how you have impacted my life. While I was incarcerated, your circle was my only sense of peace in such a chaotic environment. It allowed me to express myself and begin the hard task of healing.

Ever since I was a little girl the only thing I can remember I ever wanted, was to be a published writer. To open up a page in a book and see my words, set free, for the world to read. I have left an indelible mark on this world through my wrong decisions that became my incarceration.  Now, I am leaving another mark on this world that hopefully, someone will read and come to understand who I am.

The ironic twist in all of this is that, my dream would have never came true had I not ended up in  jail. The beauty that can come from destruction is indescribable. I will be eternally grateful to you both,  for being the ones that turned my fairytale into a reality.

I have been a constant disappointment in my family’s lives, and now I am someone they are proud to call daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and friend. Thank you so much, you have given me back the belief that dreams do come true.

Much love, Raven

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