present-moments in hell

Tree of Half LifeI presented a steep challenge to the incarcerated women writers this week.

Write about a moment, an activity, or an interaction with someone ‘inside’ – where you were mindful; in the present moment; all senses engaged; and forgot about your worries briefly.

We utilized Mary Oliver’s poem Mindful as a springboard.

As I explained the writing prompts to the 18 women gathered though, I began to be overcome by doubts. My own looping mental thoughts went something like this: these women are wracked with worries galore – some can barely sit still in their seats due to anxiety – how are they going to identify a moment where they ‘lost themselves’ in this joyless, hell-forsaken place?

Not to worry. The writers delivered as they always do.  Continue reading