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.


don’t ever try leaving again

addiction portrayed

courtesy howstuffworks

Chilling words, those. Perhaps spoken by one abusive partner to another, an overly controlling parent. In anger, under the influence, with or without weapon in hand. The end of the rope, the line, the good times. One can conjure up a number of scenarios in which ‘don’t EVER try leaving again‘ might arise; all of them insinuate threat or worse. None sounds good.

Last night by a woman recently re-incarcerated penned a compelling love letter to the one who has a hold on her that has all but destroyed her life, when all she needs is to let go . . . of a painful, literally life-threatening addiction.

Holding on to you, when I need to just let go . . .

You chase my thoughts, a puppy nipping at the ankle of each free being, of thought, of memory. You’re always here with me, your image tattooed in my brain, my ever-slowing heart . . .

I hold you close, dear, to me; you permeate every molecule, every cell, every nucleus, every mitochondria; everything chants your name . . .

I close my eyes and only feel blood, still pulsing red heat, through my damaged, scarred  being, still standing, despite the abuse I’ve put them through, what I’ve put you through just to survive because I can’t keep you, my life fails to exist . Holding your hand as I drift to eternal slumber, finally surrendering to the overdose, the fatal stop to my madness, the imminent end of my pointless life. Still holding on, but needing to let you go. I want to choose survival . . . Continue reading