If you’ve been following Thomas Porter’s posts (essays, short posts, and raw, heartfelt poetry) you may already know that he is my prison pen pal and friend. Since I started writing to him in February 2021 something incredible happened – friendship evolved. I got to know a man who is sorry for the pain he caused others in the past and who is worthy of redemption and forgiveness. He’s kind, gentle, smart, and spiritual. He is taking courses that are offered in the prison programs.
Now during the holidays, Christmas in prisons are … how should I say it, non-existent. I think that it may be the worst time of the year …
Thomas sent me a new short article that describes his feelings during this time when society’s incarcerated are forgotten and ignored. This post leaves a strong message that no one can ignore. I think that it applies to everyone, whether you’re free or locked up.
Let’s Be Present This Year
Here we are, where presence meets offering, Looking at these holidays where we sometimes aren’t present in mind and heart towards those we must value nevertheless.
Presence means more than just being there physically, So I ask what it could mean to be present with each other across time and space and differences?
Presence is and has become interpersonal and interspecies and intergalactic, in some ways eternal, So for this holiday and the coming of our New Year how can we rethink our presence on the planet and in the lives of those we pass every day?
In a language we’ve been raised with
“Here” means this place where we are; It also means “here” as in I give this to you of myself Presence!
Yet can we learn from the Love and kindness that’s at our very core not just on holidays, A from of continuous presence and the offering of our true selves,
Are we willing to shift our behavior and thoughts beyond the characteristics most palatable to predatory allies?
What happens when we value our mass impact on one another by just saying I love the parts of you that no one thinks are particularly special, I love the basic you of your unmarketable and every day, I love to be around you because the round around you thrills me, And let’s get together sooner than next Christmas,
Presence is equally giving our smiles, kindness, and also our vulnerable selves to those who may not have learned our way of Love and Kindness, so be a patient form of light as these years move on, my friends, because I love everything about Your Presence ❤️
By Thomas Porter
These heartfelt poems are sending a good message to stay strong no matter what is going on. The prison system is built to make you do nothing but think about what you have done.
We know that you been doing these poems for awhile now and we have been soaking in all of these wonderful poems.
Thanks for your comment and for following Thomas’s posts! 🙂
Wow. This is a very sensitive topic. During the holidays, I forget that there are those who can’t be with us. But I also have mixed feelings about it. I used to write inmates. But I’ve come to feel that some of them are too dangerous. No matter how nice they appear, how do you know which ones to write? I know they’re not ALL bad. I just have a hard time deciphering. Anyway, I like your topic. Great post.
It’s true that you have to be careful whom you write. Even my pen pals tell me that. They stay away from certain inmates in prison. I think, though, that you always have to be careful with people, whether they’re behind bars or walking around freely. It’s probably hard to decipher people on the outside too, at least, for me it is. I’ve had horrible experiences with people who were considered “upstanding citizens” or “respected people from the community” but who did things that I could have sued them for … things that have caused me much pain and trauma.
I think I got really lucky with my prison pen pals, since all of them treat me with respect and none of them have ever asked me for money. When I picked my pen pals from a prison pen pal site, I primarily looked at things we had in common, like a love for books, animals, poetry, nature, art, things like that. Some of the men I write to have written and published books. Another pen pal is a talented painter. We also share a difficult past and to my surprise I found that we can relate to many things. I guess I picked my pen pals right 😉
Wow, that’s deep. I have never really thought about how the inmates really feel or how they’d like to express themselves. Not being able to express yourself is frustrating like you don’t have a voice. Thanks for putting Thomas’s articles out here.
Yes, Thomas’s writings are always deep, touching to the core. He is a true wordsmith. He’s going through a lot and I am glad that I can help get his voice out.
Thank you for your comment!
“By just saying I love the parts of you that no one thinks are particularly special…, And let’s get together sooner than next Christmas”
It takes a strong and selfless heart to write a poem sending and beseeching for intentional love and present state of mind for others. Kudos to Thomas.
During this festive period, for many of us, beyond the celebration and physical gifts, we should learn to be intentional with how we try to be there for those we love, how we genuinely show others that we truly care about them and whatever burden they may be dealing with. I think that is the message Thomas is sharing with us, and through his sharing, I can see what he is actually practicing what he preaches, in the way he can. That to me, is the value of Christmas and the festive season.
Very true, we should remember to be intentional with how we try to be there for the ones we love. As always, Thomas shares a deep message with us.
Thank you for your comment!
Hallo! Omg.. You got me all in tears… I don’t know if it’s the holidays or your post… I think the both. When I was really young I had my uncle in prison but I never got to visit it because of mom. Now in my 40s I really think of him quite often. Really nice post, thank you.. <3
Thank you, Markus! It must have been difficult not being able to see your uncle.
Thomas always writes heartfelt pieces, it’s hard not to be affected by them.
Thank you for your comment 🙂