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Welcome to Tashiena's Blog!

Emily Dickinson:

If you were coming in the Fall,

I'd brush the Summer by

With half a smile, and half a spurn,

As Housewives do, a Fly.

If I could see you in a year,

I'd wind the months in balls---

And put them each in separate Drawers,

For fear the numbers fuse---

If only Centuries, delayed,

I'd count them on my Hand,

Subtracting, til my fingers dropped

Into Van Diemen's Land,

If certain, when this life was out---

That yours and mine, should be

I'd toss it yonder, like a Rind,

And take Eternity---

But, now, uncertain of the length

Of this, that is between,

It goads me, like the Goblin Bee---

That will not state--- its sting.

The prison system is designed to strip families, communities, and those individuals who cause harm of love, hope, and faith. Some may argue that anyone who causes harm should be made to suffer the loss of these most essential ingredients so the growth and possibility of “the offender” is halted. We want to hear from those of you who hold this position. We believe it is important to have these hard conversations if we are to ever begin healing and restoring Love, Hope, and Faith to all who are impacted by harm. We know that hate, vengeance, and retribution do nothing to heal, restore, or rebuild our communities or ourselves.

What are the answers…?

We will begin by exploring the journeys of Tashiena and Natalie as they have struggled to find, grow and sustain love, hope, and faith in the midst of such a demeaning and archaic system. This blog is a place to reflect, dialogue, engage, build, challenge, and discover healing and transformation while building community and power centered in love, hope, and faith.

Tashiena:

I spent my time of incarceration inside the incubator of self development. Discovering and establishing who I am through experiencing all that I am not, then intentionally deciding who I will BE. I learned to transmute the base metal of my life into gold, like any good alchemist would do.

I have experimented with ideas and concepts that I learned and developed. I have created visiona journals to make plain the life I would manifest for myself.

The one idea that I envisioned and wrote about the most was LOVE. I desired a Partner in this life to co-create with me. To hold me. To allow me to hold them. To match me in my love, resilience, stamina, ideals, creativity; capacity to see beyond the visible; the heart to pursue it, the courage to stand up in the face of pressure and not be swayed, to stick and stay for the long haul, to love life and family, to honor the sacred sanctity of home and earth. To provide a foundation of hope and comfort and solace and understanding and peace and joy and kindness and impeccability with words, to engage spiritual activities to practice in our daily living. To honor self and make sweet, passionate love to/with me daily!

I saw it, I spoke it, I became all that I longed for in a partner. And without my knowing it, throughout all the years I spent in development, my life partner was undergoing the same transformative work through her own journey, which in so many ways paralleled my own. And at the precise time in which we were both ready for our union to transcend friendship to life partnership, Natalie and I made the commitment to one another, began our process of continued development of self as partners and helpmates and missing links to each of the chains holding us in bondage.

Natalie:

My whole adult life has been woven around activism and movement work. I knew when I set out to live a path dedicated to building, in community, tomorrows rooted in love and care for one another and the planet, I would fall into deep friendship with the people I worked alongside.

One such friendship always landed with a clamor of something more in my chest. I was drawn to her back many years ago when we first met. Me a young anti-prison activist having my eyes opened, my heart devastated, my brain activated, and my soul outraged. When I would see her on a special program afternoon at the prison, my whole heart would stutter. When she wrote to me, her carefully constructed missives of challenge and humor and insight, a kind of exhilaration raged in my chest. This was years and years ago. Before I had a kid...before I was ready...before Tashiena was ready for this raging, wild, settled, peaceful, smart, playful, creative, and persistent love that we ride every day. There was however this knowing; there was a sowing afoot. And, we had to go through fire in our own individual lives to traverse to here,where our hearts are slung around and through our Sagittarius and Taurus birthrights and our paths singularly and together write liberation on the edges of the night sky and the rising sun and the empty guard towers surrounding the valley. The thing about this love is that it is old, wise love. It is love that was conjured in the dust of entropy made manifest to form. To substance. To the solid bedrock of a tomorrow where we wake in one another's' arms and find our mouths hungry for kisses and conversations. When we speak impeccable words of truth and delight into being--into more love and more freedom, always.

The prison system is designed to tear people apart. It makes it so difficult to cultivate love. At times the barbed wire tears into love, crushes relationships--hope and love are shredded by prison.

The bees inside get creative and build

A place to talk about where love and hope feel lost and then we find it again. Hopes up for laws to change and then when they do and it is challenged how do you survive, stay alert, stay hopeful/

What the loss of love and hope does to a person’s spirit and what does the restoration of love and hope do to help us believe in miracles and magic.

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