photo of wall installation called “Freed Spirit” at a restaurant in New Mexico

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” ~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

“You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up all the other worlds. Except the one in which you belong.” ~ David Whyte

Despair. Defiance. Determination. Deference.

Who knew that ‘liberation’ could conjure such a range of responses?

Pain. Platitudes. Perspective. Perseverance.

All this, and more. Written in 20 minutes around a table of a half dozen women committed to a weekly 90 minutes of focused, deep listening to one another and themselves. Inside prison… Determination. Perseverance.

By the words you speak, a world is born.
Insults can leave the insecure scorned.
You are a vessel, this life is the sea.
Stop sitting on the shore
living in your misery. You can’t even imagine
what this world has to give;
behind the walls of your entrapment
there’s a different way to live.

Wise men tell stories, philosophical quotes;
they don’t get all their wisdom from sailing their own boats.
They’ve walked plenty of day in someone else’s shoes,
they know what it means to be tattered and bruised.
They’ve met misery on their own steps,
been sunk under water in unfathomable depths.
But they don’t let that fear keep them silent.
They don’t let the abuse turn them violent.
They simply dust it off and walk away.
Tomorrow is a brand new day.

I don’t know about you, but they seem fine
by simply leaving the past behind.

– MGa


LIBERATION (excerpt)
I need liberation from my mother because she’s never put me first, ever, in her life. It’s always been the other way around. I’ve always had to take care of her and my grandparents, and it weighs heavy on my shoulders…



DREAMS (excerpt)
… To show and say,
YES, I CAN! I don’t need your judgments, persecutions or approval for that matter, because I believe in myself; and despite all my mistakes, I am better than you may perceive me. Your opinion does not matter to me anymore. I am going to choose to turn from your evilness and walk in the direction I so choose. I am letting go of you. I am tearing apart the seams that you seem to think bind us together. You can’t have me no more, I belong to Something Greater now and I choose better for myself because I am capable of so much more than you give me credit for. So I am done with all your unfaithfulness. I am choosing to dream a bigger dream for myself. It doesn’t include you. I’m letting go finally because you are not included in my dreams.

– MS


In this world we are in,
so much happens that
we feel we have no control.
Excuse my grammar, but
shit happens
and it weighs on you.

You were expecting a simple, but
Happy Day.
You woke in good spirits,
the morning seemed perfect; but
then your phone rings, and
all you hear is complaining
and gossip.

You feel like you should listen with empathy,
but instead
you say, I’m so sorry, but today is not good.
You hang up and
decide, Not Today.

You sip your coffee,
sit in the yard.
The birds are singing
a favorite song of mine.
I’m a groupie, I thought
and the music I hear
is my sweet inspiration.