27 September 2006

the glass waiting room

Yesterday I met my mom and dad at the state prison in Draper to pick up my brother, who was being released on parole. In some ways, the experience was quite unremarkable. It was unceremonious, it was brief, and devoid of drama or decorum.

The waiting room at the prison is interesting... it is mostly comprised of glass. walls. It is probably the only structure on the premises that does not depend almost entirely on artificial light for illumination. How fitting it is that the final exit from the prison is made of windows to the outside world.

I wondered what that that experience is like for the inmate - to emerge from the concrete and steel of self imposed captivity, to the fresh air, big skies, and open road of state-granted freedom.

One of the first things my brother wanted to do was go to the store and buy a coke. He remarked that it has been a few years since he was able to enjoy such a simple pleasure. His excitement for this simple act was humbling.

His pending appointment with his parole officer made our reunion extremely breif. We discussed some weightier matters, and I soon got a sense of the shape of his newfound freedom.

I fear that his vision has been made as short reaching as his old cell wall.

Ultimately, our freedom is only as far reaching as we perceive it to exist.

Where are the boundaries of your freedom?

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