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.
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.