choice in all things

choice in human form

credit – asunshinyday

It was an interesting exercise last Thursday night to offer a prompt about choice to women in one of the least free environments imaginable. And yet, they rose to the challenge, surprising even themselves with the number of things they can choose inside prison. One young woman wrote:

INSIDE CRCF, I CHOOSE

to stay sober
to not eat
to talk
to be silent
to love myself/hate myself
to shower
to better my education
to go to classes
to get better computer skills
to open up to people
to love one another
to block out bullshit
to be angry
to get help for my own needs.
– JG

Ensuing discussion landed squarely on variations of ‘choosing influences who you become.’ To many of us on the outside, this might seem a basic life lesson. To those inside, for whom life has often been a mysterious process of negative reaction to their choices — choices they often felt powerless to effect — this came as something of a revelation. Another woman wrote:

I want to breathe air that’s not all congested with crack smoke. I want to walk out a door and be invited into freedom of choice. And I want to without a doubt live sober, peaceful and remembering it is here inside these walls I’ve overcome . . .  – TD

One long-time writer, who has been in and out multiple times, chose a serious statement of intent and purpose: Continue reading