Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Prison Blues

Sometimes this life feels like a prison. I've never been in prison, or even in jail, but I've read books & seen my share of movies.

Even before we come of age, it seems we're assigned a cell & some companions. These are the people in your cell block- you see them every day, eat with them, play with them. These are the people you grow up with. You learn how to "do life" together as a society, under the watchful eye of the guards... teachers, parents, authority figures.

As life goes on, you're moved to a maximum security prison. You're a little more dangerous now- you're bigger & you know too much because you've been educated. You're stronger & able to think more independently. You know how the "world" works. You have a choice to mind your p's & q's & exist in society as is expected of you, or you can collect all manner of implements & begin to plot your escape. Will you tunnel under the walls with spoons? Crawl through the ventilation shafts? Kidnap a guard & grab his keys? Will you start a riot, or will you keep things private & find some way to slip out under cover of darkness?

Keep in mind, escape would invite a manhunt. Lights, whistles, dogs & guns might be joined by helicopters in the sky. It wouldn't stop. Ever. You would always be looking over your shoulder, wondering who you could trust. But what if you actually made it as a fugitive?  What if you were successful to the point that you no longer had to hide? What would that be like?

This is something I face daily in my "cell'... I've been collecting implements all my life & have even started digging a few times,  but I don't know what waits for me on the other side & I'm nervous. All I know is what I've read in books or seen in movies. What would it mean to "be out"? There's no parole in this prison system, only life & death. The rules of this society tell me when to wake, what to eat, where to work & what I can own. They tell me what I can do for fun & when to go to sleep. And if I want to be acceptable to my cell block & the guards around me, I do as I'm told. I'm nothing more than a cookie from the cutter. But I know I can't abide by the rules of society & be true to myself & to God.  I know I can't be content to live under the safe restrictions of this prison system the rest of my life. So I'm sitting here with my table spoons... Will I play a jig or will I dig?

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