Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Young Man's Gift

What must it be like, to get a gift, for the first time in four years?
Four years in prison, after a childhood of hell, of being beaten and abused, and drunk and high, and then doing what someone did to you, to others, and then told by the cops that what you’d been taught was wrong, and you were going to prison.
And, then, for four years, no one in your family comes to see you, or write to you.  You are in classes to learn about what you did, and who you are, and how you might want to deal with all of that, and actually be healthy and strong, and become a real man.
Manhood, what a confusing thought.  
And, deep inside, you are a kind and sensitive soul, and spend your time being an artist, and creating some beauty in your world.  All that is new, to be good to yourself, and to be an artist, to create.  
How strange is that, after so many people have told you that you are a beast, and a pervert, and need to be locked up, and punished, for all the bad things you have done.
Yet, someone new in your life gives you a gift of a book, a book that honors art and creativity.  And the giver of the book writes you a letter inviting you to explore your creativity, your gifts of beauty, and reminds you that you are a good person, an artist, and a creator of wonderful and beautiful things in this world.  
No wonder you are confused.  No wonder you find it hard to make sense of this world, and who you are, and what is expected of you.