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St Patrick's Day Greetings from Prison

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Greetings on St Patrick’s Day sent from Kathy Kelly, Federal Prison Camp, Lexington, KY green triumphs over greygreen triumphs over grey

Atwood Hall’s food service decided to serve roast beef and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. I enjoyed my oatmeal, but feel appreciative of efforts to interrupt monotony and tedium here. Blissfully, nature trumped anyone’s efforts! Early yesterday evening, I glanced outside the front door of Atwood Hall and felt delightfully mesmerized. Spring colors, muted and soft, are rolling across the countryside. Was it a week ago that inmate landscapers were struggling with snow, sleet and ice?

The Bureau of Prisons lavishes battleship grey paint on nearly every surface. Grey clothing is on sale at commissary. And if there’s a color choice to be made for plastic furniture, it’s sure to be grey. But every person, no matter how he or she got here, can feast on the spectacle outdoors. Again, Barbara Deming’s words come to mind: “Locked in winter, summer lies. Gather your bones together, Rise!”

I’m sending this note with sincere thanks to the many people who’ve been in touch with me in the past weeks, inside the prison. For more thoughts about ways to stay in touch with prison realities, please consider Maya Schenwar’s book, Locked Up and Locked Out (I think I have the title right…) Thanks also to those who’ve helped plant seeds for a street kids school that the Afghan Peace Volunteers are organizing. For more information, visit ourjourneytosmile.com and/or vcnv.org

Sincerely,

Kathy