In class last week we got happy! We worked on our metaphors and tried to define happiness:
Opening day at Wrigley Field
My family’s faces when I take them out to eat
When I hear little Jack repeat something I taught him
Riding my Jigster up and down Madison Street
A sexual climax
Knowing I have a second chance at life outside of jail
The sound of silence
Working the job of your dreams
Getting past the pain
Getting my high school diploma for my parents
Being at the movies with my girlfriend
The Cubs winning the World Series
When I see my son smile
Below, a few students describe the room in which we hold class at the jail:
Six people plus me sharing wisdom from poems each has an interpretation we live in a dog eat dog world. Goodness still overcomes evil thank god for good people the walls are white and tall hard as stone and cannot fall I hear breathing the breath of life the suns getting low it will soon be night solitude and quietness is a peace I like rather day or night thoughts of peace in my mind and how I’m going to occupy time.
This room is the best room in the jail because fellowship, the bible study, the mentor, and I can be by myself and to express myself and watch TV.
Eight cinder blocks wide by twelve cinder blocks long. Suffused with the spirit of Pentecostal meetings to celebrate biblical stories, Christ financial code and the place of God among the tenants of AA and NA.
Place of refuge to create by writing; my one and only creative act of the last six months. Secluded discussion and refuge from Cos that feel free to intrude in every nook and cranny we are otherwise privileged to inhabit here in jail.
Echoing tile floors and painted concrete walls reverberate with discussion and discourse, leaving me free for exactly 90 minutes a week from reality TV, sports, and vapid game shows.
Royal blue and gray plastic tables with matching plastic lawn chairs. Locked entrance and egress seems more to bar staff outside than keep us in.
TV cart, blank screen and a white board with a matrix and magic markers inviting a little highlighted PowerPoint emphasis in red ink. Nirvana on the second floor, home away from home, hope in a box that echoes.
Opportunistic artificial bland facilitator refuge dead end cold uninviting enlightening amusing entertaining catalyst hard influential constructive blessing white blue gray insightful green black brown beige orange silver yellow pink cream dirty inanimate orderly positive productive outlet mundane
Seven souls within four cinderblock walls. Come together to share thoughts, experiences, and writing. Together we share seven different views from life. The neutral colors of the walls are uninspired which have us reach into our memories and minds for imagery. Verbally we bring them to life for the others.
In such a bland uninspiring room our imaginations bring the room to life.
Lesson Learned by Stephen
I didn’t know the influence my thoughts had
I used to think
I would live my life the way I wanted
I used to think
I was the one that had to pass when it was time for me to pass
She passed somewhere between the yellow and the green
She passed because of these thoughts
Now, i know