heart launch

Today’s Daily Post Prompt: Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art.

On Thursday evening, 250 people packed Burlington, Vermont’s beautiful lake-side Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center to receive and honor the words of previously incarcerated women.

[Their writings are among the unedited prose and poetry of 60 incarcerated women writing for self-understanding and change in the newly released HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write (Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY).]

Nine women gathered to read from their book to a riveted audience. The cumulative impact of their stories, their voices, their diverse appearance and their shared sense of community in this somewhat surreal and completely unprecedented reunion was beyond beautiful. Silence was complete. Focus intense. Energy shifted. Understanding prevailed.

Afterwards, the nine clustered around two tables, pens poised to personalize the pages of books just purchased by the many who moments earlier had given them a rousing standing ovation for their courage and their vulnerability. The entire event was a moving collage, a kaleidoscope of fears overcome, challenges shared, connections made in heart time. The air vibrated with compassion on the waves of relieved laughter. Each woman radiated a confidence only hinted at beneath her ‘blues’ inside prison.

It was heart stopping and heart filling. Beautiful and stunning. A true heart launch for all.