Last Thursday evening as I was leaving the prison late, I experienced one of those moments that touches a place almost too deep for words.
I happened to look through several layers of glass into a distant room. And there, standing a bit to one side in conversation, stood one of ‘my’ writers. She hasn’t written with us in our weekly writing circles for some time – she’s been on an emotional roller coaster for a while. Yet every time she HAS joined us, her writing has been powerful, raw, and (according to her own words) more valuable than any counseling session — because of the depth and immediacy of shared experience. She always thanked me for coming and appeared genuinely grateful for the chance to reflect on and learn from herself and others in the group.
Our eyes connected. I put my hand to my heart, patting a soft fist against my chest two to three times in a gesture I reserve for those I most care for, nodding as I did so with a smile. And SHE crossed both arms over HER chest, holding my gaze with tender intensity as her own head nodded ever so slightly.
The compassion that can pass through time, space, even glass prison walls – not to mention the enormous divide between us in terms of where we are in our lives . . . !
THIS is good work indeed.