blogging geek fellowship

but then one day…

She lived in a very big home, but never noticed the size because it was so very familiar.  She grew up here.  She slid across the long digital hallways in her favorite house-slippers, and clamored up to the rooftops to be drenched by the light of the electric moon.  She knew the pages of every room, and the faces behind every mask, and the taste of every delicious byte of soul food.  Others visited, but she lived here. She loved here.  She lost here.

Then one day, they took her away, locked her in a very small space, and told her all the things she’d seen and been were not-True things.

In the dark consistency of isolation, her site had no illumination.  It was easy to believe the lies of the cage.

But her home secreted itself into her cell by pressing into the deep impression of ink and the soft persistence of paper, sending talismans to guide her from the hardness of time to the softness of stardomains.  The cage insisted they were not-True tokens, but she devoured them when she had no food, and bathed in them when she had no bath, and was free in them when the locks clicked away at night.  The locks seemed very Important and very Big, but her talismans said they were not.

She believed them.  She believed home.

Thousands of chunks from her hallways were sent to keep her safe, but it was okay.  She lived in a very big home, one that was constantly expanding.

From the distance of her entrapment, she finally glimpsed the smallness of herself, and the immensity of her stomping grounds, and worried she would be lost if she ever returned.

IMG_20141110_0002

But then one day, as it so often does, if turned to when, and the locks fell away…
and that silly little cage didn’t seem important at all.

She had visited it, sure.
But she lived here.

And whether it was very big, or she was very small, it didn’t matter. It was home.

And she was back.

_________________________________________________

Lately, one of my favorite hallways of the ‘net is Instagram. I’ve been photographing pictures of the letters I received during my 15 months incarcerated. It’s a beautiful thing. People are wonderful and inspiration is contagious.

It’s a slow work in progress, but you can take a peek anytime you want. My Instagram ID is rawra.avis, but you can view only the letter-photos by viewing the tag I use — “HardTimeTalisman” — or just click here: https://instagram.com/explore/tags/hardtimetalisman/

Do you instagram? Are you a photo person? Now that I’m taking pictures of myself every 5 seconds, do I look just as you imagined? What inspires you? Do you feel at home on the internet, or are you just getting the hang of it?

Tell me everything, I’ve missed you so.

118 comments

  1. that gave me chills!

    i love instagram! photographs are my number one love on the internet, and instagram gives me these little peeks into the lives of other. they are all so beautiful and fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I love about Instagram… you get an idea for the world people live. The colors they notice, the stuff they find beautiful or disgusting… it’s comprehensive and revealing. I only started taking photos of myself to send to my chicas incarcerated, but it’s been a fun documentation of my journey back to real life. It’s, as you say, fascinating!

      I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how to photograph your letters without revealing information. I’m gonna have to cover it with fruit, I think. 😀 *hugs*

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Regardless. This is a beautiful post and a shining example of just how very important these beautiful places in the World Between the Wires can be. I know I need it. I’m glad you inhabit it, and I’m glad the tiny cage was far less realler than the freedom to be loved and accepted and acknowledged that your dear friends sent you, piece by wonderous piece.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It was an odd thing. To KNOW something exists, but to maybe be the only person in a whole area who knows. I’m glad for the letters.. they allowed me to hold onto the certainty.

          Thank you for reading. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Psh. You’re real now and you real before. A friend of my friends is a friend of mine…. whether they like it or not. 😉 And now we are friends, and you can’t be friends and not be real… so we’re real.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I’m glad. I might be that one crazy chickenshit friend whose brain trips her up, but I’m awfully enthusiastic once I get going 🙂 I’m glad we’re real. I like that. I was hoping for that.

                Liked by 1 person

        1. I was going to edit “FRIST!” to read “FIRST!” since I usually fix up typos (because it plagues me when I make one)… but there’s something so enthusiastically charming about FRIST! that I just couldn’t. It needs to stay because it makes me smile. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved these…so touching and full of such heartfelt words of caring and inspiring thoughts at a time when it was raining shit around you. Truly amazing you seem to have come out the other side even better than before. Hats off to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you DiAnne… I don’t know about “better”, but definitely I am still at home. I worried about feeling very lost when I got back, but so far, everything is still softly familiar.

      The caring and inspiration that came through the mail was astounding. I have only just begun to photograph it all, but it’s an emotionally taxing experience for me so I’m taking it as I’m taking all things right now…

      bite by bite. 😀

      Thank you for reading and taking a peek. I appreciate it!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a little stalker-ish on my part, I admit it… wanting to know what textures and materials and lights make up a persons’ world, haha! But I enjoy it.

      Thank you for being here to welcome me home, Bhakti. *hugs* So much love to you.

      Like

  3. I am perhaps rather late to the party, but rather late then never I guess. Your personality and humanity shine through and I am diggin’ your wisdom interwoven with whimsy and playful wit. After reading many of the comments here, I see that a friend of a friend is a friend, so we are friends indeed ( and inheart,)
    I know you through Shree and Leigh so you keep great company. I imagine you take the most electric parts of yourself wherever you hang your hat. I do not know prison, but I do understand losing your freedom and living at the mercy of others. One never forgets, but hopefully one uses the confinement in a creative, authentic way. Looks like you are doing that and then some…

    Hope my rambling is at least partially clear. This is how I roll sometimes..

    much love, Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, Leigh is the source behind some of these recent photographs… and Shree is to blame for much of the silliness that happened on this blog before, haha! So yes, a friend is a friend, and– in fact– since we are friends through such old friends, we’re basically old friends ourselves. *hugs* It’s good to have you here, Linda.

      I’m sorry you know what it is to lose freedom. That’s something I wish could be a memory that no one understands, let alone knows. But, on the other hand, there’s nothing like the loss of something to give it sweetness where we might’ve just passed it by… right? 🙂

      Rambles are welcome here, anytime… because that’s how I roll, too. 😀
      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I truly love how many people sent you drawings.

    I don’t Instagram because the only photos I take are of my cats. I already knew what you looked like so yes, you look just like I pictured you!

    I am much more at home on the Internet than I am in real life, which both comforts and troubles me. You inspire me. The funny and kind people of the world inspire me. French fries inspire me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being put in the same category as french fries = best compliment ever! 🙂

      I loved the drawings, too. There’s so little art in there. I wish I could capture the soothing nature of some of the words, too. I will try. But some of the letters were like little meditations. People are amazing.

      Also, Instagram loves cats, so that’s no excuse. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw. Thank you. Dave could never seem to take a picture that looked how he looked in real life… something to do with his cheekbones, I think. But, he was handsome either way… just handsomer in person! 🙂 *hugs* Thanks for the confidence boost. 😀

      Like

    1. I think it was full of sadness, and sad things get addicted to sad, and have to lie to keep it all in. That was my takeaway from narcotics anonymous, anyway. 🙂 That and “nebulous” is a fantastic word.

      I’m glad you guys didn’t let me believe the cage. *hugs*

      Liked by 2 people

  5. But it is true & we won’t let them lie to you again. & I love the talismans finally my IG feed has more art in it thanks to you. & They most definitely are art with all of those beautiful colors and words. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve seen your Instagram photos earlier. I sooooo love them!! I just love you and your posts. ^_^

    Ah I’ve been focusing a lot more on Instagram lately and not so much on Facebook or Twitter. I do re-share most of my art on there though. Instagram is just easier as I’m not using my laptop as much anymore. Plus, for some reason I can share personal pictures, food pictures and my art peeks on there without it being a random mess. I love the gallery view when you go to someone’s account! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! It’s also easier for me to post there because it adds some continuity to my photos without having to rely on Photoshop.

      I love your Instagram. And your art. :). And you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Instagram. It took me awhile to jump on the bandwagon but once I did I was hooked. I so thrilled to read your brilliant posts again. You have always been one of the best writers I have followed online and I know that there is so much more to come from you. Your experience while difficult to put it mildly has planted more seeds for writing in you I am sure. I can’t wait to see what is next for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for holding the light on the path to home. :). And you can peek at my Instagram even if you don’t have it… Many of your letters will make an appearance soon. 🙂

      Like

      1. 😀 I have been looking at all of your Instagrams. I think. Since I am not familiar with it I don’t know how to really navigate. But I’m checking all of your links. Seems that I can’t quite get enough of Rara!!!! (I still have letters on hold for you too.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Awww. I think we are still at the stage of surprise. Did you see your dino hug? I have many more of yours to post, but I needed to start there. :). Thank you for all the love.

          Like

  8. poop. Internet ate my comment.. maybe a good thing because it was getting close to a mail. You iz gorgeous (girl.. those eyelashes..jealous!) and love the pics. Though sometimes the topic is sad they always make me smile. You’re a brave dino. Time to roar!! 🙂 Rawr 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome home, Rara. I had only just begun to get to know you before. It seems such an awfully long time ago in some ways and a snap of the fingers in another. I’m so happy for you to be back home where you belong and look forward to getting to know you and your words better. What you have written above is testimony to your writing and spirit.x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the warm welcome. *hugs* And for reading.

      Time is a very funny thing, and for me it was much the same– some day it feels as if I was gone forever, some days I can hardly believe it wasn’t just a blink. I’m happy to be back in the fold, though… at least now I’ll suffer time in the same manner as everyone else. 😀

      Like

  10. That was awesome Rara! I’m so glad you didn’t believe the lies. The cage lies are not the real thing. The real things are the love you felt, and every little word that wound its way through the locks, the hallways and the bars and into your heart. This is the reality — here where your heart knows it is loved xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. No instagram – two Facebook pages, twitter and a blog keep me busy! But it’s nice seeing you and your wonderful artwork. The life between the ears is what can’t be locked away…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You have no idea how much you’re thought of out here in the blog-iverse and beyond. How the way you do things, how you write and interact and everything, influences the rest of us. You are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jen, that’s so kind. I carried all of you with me in my heart and wondered if that was a nice thing to do at all– it was sort of like bringing you into prison. But I couldn’t let go… as this says, this is my home. And y’all are family.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve been following your blog on and off for the past year and a half. You’re a very inspiring person Rara! It takes courage to write about not-very-nice experiences, and that too so beautifully!
    Kudos to your positivity! Keep “rawr”ing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful story, timeless. I’ve never used Instagram, I’m always reluctant to add another social media outlet into my life! Ya know? Although I hear such great things about it, and I do love photos, so at some point I’m sure I’ll be tempted. Big Saturday hugs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely know! Mostly Twitter is the one I slack on, but I throw stuff from Instagram on there on occasion to keep it somewhat fresh. I don’t know how much blog traffic Instagram really generates, but it’s a wonderful way to give people a deeper look. I think. 🙂

      Big Saturday hugs to you, too!!

      Like

    1. Thank you, I wanted to put it together, but I also wanted to keep it just as-is. I eventually decided I’d assemble it if I’m ever settled in a real physical home for some length of time.

      The good news is… if always turns to when eventually. 😉 🙂

      Like

  15. Actually never even thought about instagram until I saw your peekarawr in the side bar. I don’t think that I could manage having another social media outlet though, I can hardly keep up with what I’ve got. Actually since I started hanging out on twitter I’ve been posting a lot less, so I’m trying to tell myself just to close twitter, not the account just the tab in my browser… But I like seeing all of your pictures, and will continue to follow from the links in your side bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sreejit. One of the things I like about instagram is that it can feed content (without seeming too odd) to both Twitter and FB. Plus, it provides me with pictures I can use here.

      But I get it. There’s nothing worse than an unused social media outlet cluttering up the direction of your blog. 🙂 That’s why I don’t even have Twitter on my side bar…. no matter how active I am there, it isn’t worth the real estate. 🙂

      Thank you for reading and taking a peek!

      Like

  16. Hi, Rara. It’s Sarah FKA CombatBabe or CB. I am happy you’ve returned and are receiving so much love. 🙂 I’m truly inspired by your strength and I would like to say I am sorry for your loss with Dave, but I don’t feel those are the right words. In my belief I don’t feel we lose someone when they pass, we just don’t get to see them the way we’re used to. At least that’s the way I’d like to believe.

    Anyway, I am glad you’re back. This place hasn’t been the same without you. xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah!!! Who I can see and don’t have to call CB. That is a wonderful change to come back home to. *hugs* I’ll be over in a bit to check you out, but first…

      Hi. 🙂 *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It won’t let me subscribe to your new blog via email! And this is all of a sudden a Very Important Thing to do. Hmmm. Oh, I know. I’ll follow you on Twitter and stalk that way.
      Phew.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m so happy you’re back! I have thought of you often & even started a few letters but your whole situation was so maddening & depressing to me I just could not finish any of them.
    I have been so absent myself for a long time – I think I just lost the energy to keep up with so much noise from so many people. Welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have instygram. I am attempting to take/post a picture a day for a year. Some days I am more successful than others, but I have found even if I avoid here, FB, Twitter, etc. I will always go to IG and see what’s happening. So if I disappear, that’s the blanket fort I can be found in.

    You are beautiful, so post as many pics as you want of anything you want, including you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you’re biased. You love me. I could have 19 eyes and you’d still say I was beautiful. Which is just one of the many reasons I love you. 😉

      I’m glad you post so often on Instagram. It keeps us connected, and allowed me a sort of glimpse backwards on all I missed.

      xo!

      Like

  19. I had no idea I could send you drawings. I purposely never drew because I thought you wouldn’t get it. Now I wished I had. I do not have instagram but perhaps I will now check it out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m so glad you are home, Rara, and that Home recognized you and gathered you back in. I am a sporadic Instagram poster (too ADD to be consistent), my blog and Facebook get my daily attention. – Fawn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the blog is most important anyway do that makes sense. :). I’m very glad to have many homes to return to… Even though it’s making things a bit hectic at the moment. 🙂

      Thank you for reading, Fawn. 🙂

      Like

  21. I’ve been really into Instagram lately too. I followed you today, because I want to see all those beautiful letter posts and absorb some of the wonderful words as a reminder to stay strong no matter your circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sabina. Those words were like bright lights in the dark and I can’t even tell you how often I passed them on to the next girl in need. I hope they continue to spread their light, and I am grateful you opted to take a peek! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I looked into Instagram, but was stopped by its being an app vs a website. My phone is dumb as a brick and can’t use apps. I use Facebook, Twitter, Deviantart, WP (of course), and that’s proving to be too much for me to handle. I can’t keep up, esp. Deviantart.

    But… You’re back and posting! Much more poetically than I would be in the same situation. Though I failed miserably at sending correspondence while you were not at home, if you find yourself in need – ie, the dreaded material kind of need – I’m fairly well equipped for that sort of support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Initially, that kept me from Instagram, too. I’ve never been a phone person so it didn’t work out. Dave used to be active on Deviantart, back when I first met him, but he eventually folded that into shop systems like RedBubble. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your offer of support. I appreciate it. I don’t know what I would be doing with myself if I didn’t have this village. 🙂 It’s a good home to come back to, even if it is not quite the one I left. Thank you for being part of that.

      Like

  23. Mine always got sent back for one reason or another. 😦 I am so happy you are back, in spite of all of everything else. You are more than the Phoenix. You will find your way to creating what is next. I promise. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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