I think because some tiny part of me has always wanted to know just how it would be to walk in the shoes of someone behind bars, I was compelled to get myself to the end of the book.
I also love to sit and listen to a good story, and Piper Kerman weaves a tale that takes you on an almost unbelievable ride where the younger, more reckless version of Piper becomes involved in a very lucrative drug trafficking ring just for the post Smith College adventure.
She quickly sees the error of her ways and puts her life on a more conservative (law-abiding) path, meets a nice guy, falls in love, has a great career in New York City, when, ten years post crime, the law catches up with her and she has to leave her good life and do time for her bad choices.
The take-away that I really appreciated was her journey to a realization that our actions do not affect just ourselves. Piper, like many, believed that she, alone in the world, was self-reliant, self-protective, able to be completely responsible or able of complete divorcement. This led her to believe that her single actions did not matter much. She traversed the world in her own little bubble, occasionally engaging with others, but largely alone.
She says "What I discovered was that I am emphatically not alone. The people on the outside (of prison) who wrote and visited every week and traveled long distances to come and tell me that I wasn't forgotten, that I wasn't alone, had a tremendous impact on my life.
However, most of all, I realized that I was not alone in the world because of the women I lived with for over a year, who gave me a dawning recognition of what I shared with them. We shared over-crowded Dorms and lack of privacy. We shared eight numbers instead of names, prison khakis, cheap food and hygiene items. Most important, we shared a deep reserve of humor, creativity in adverse circumstances and the will to protect and maintain our own humanity despite the prison system's imperative to crush it. I don't think any of us could have managed those survival techniques alone; I know I couldn't--we needed each other."
That's the bond I share with Kerman.
I firmly believe and rely on the fact that we need each other.
I was getting awfully snappy this afternoon. Could it be a week of school vacation with five kids? A travelling husband? Easter for 20?
(where you leave the ham in the oven to bake at room temperature while you're at church) Avoiding the mountain (seriously. a MOUNTAIN.) of laundry in the laundry room? Reflecting on the Relief Society lesson from yesterday with an emphasis on relationships and simplicity when you're driving children around like the mad-taxi-mom? No shower? Having kids turn up their noses at the delicious homemade ham and bean soup I made for dinner? Listening to my daughter scold me for not have Family Home Evening tonight, and threatening to tell our Home Teacher on us? Maybe it's just the rain.
Either way, I stole away to the tub and asked Mr. Dub in my best military voice: Permission to fail, SIR! And he knew. And lovingly replied: permission GRANTED.
One of the best days to live in Massachusetts! Patriot's Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, which were two of the earliest battles in the American Revolutionary War. If you like to be up late, you can catch the midnight ride of Paul Revere, through Lexington the night before. If you don't mind getting up early, you can catch the re-enactments on the Lexington Green,
and march as the minutemen gather to battle at the Old North Bridge in Concord where the shot heard 'round the world was fired. I love this day! Over the years, we've done it all. I can't really pick a favorite... it's just fun to re-live history and to live where it's so thick and alive. This year? We're going to plant ourselves along Commonwealth Avenue just before the 19 mile mark of the Boston Marathon and cheer on all the racers and runners with our friend Ellen (who happens to deserve the credit for the pictures in this post). Our next-door neighbor is running this year, and we're going to keep a look out for him and cheer extra loud! when he goes by.