Monday, March 4, 2019

I Wish The World Could See Some Of The Incarcerated The Way I Do: The University of Washington Book Club Did! by Jeff aka Ruth Utnage

I have often said that I wish society could see some of my fellow incarcerated people the way I do. I see some amazing people, granted there are some not so amazing people too, but I have met some incredible human beings. It is not these prefabricated exchanges that society see's that I am talking about like TV portrays us or clemency hearings or any of that. I am talking about those moments where true vulnerability occurs, where heart walls come down and you get to see the humanity of a person.

I belong to a book club that meets once a month where we are blessed with the presence of students who willingly face the interior of a prison to discuss a book and sometimes life in general. This last meeting we had I was so happy that these wonderful men and women got to see the beauty that resides within a few of the people I call friends, like our very own Marshall and James, two human beings who are the very epitome of rehabilitated.

Today was one of those days where I could see the impossible take place, today lives got changed and it was so organic, so genuine. I say the word love a lot, maybe too much for some, but I love a lot of things and a lot of people. I love our book club and the people in it, I love our program sponsor, I love the people who are incarcerated who go, I love my friends and some of them I call brothers.

Stories got shared about how we came to be at a Special Needs Yard, otherwise known as Protective Custody. The courage it takes to walk away from the violence prison expects and forgo all the nonsense of prison gangs, walk away from it all facing near certain death and reclaim ones life again, take control. So rarely will prisoners do that, reclaim their lives. I got to watch as a small group of people heard stories of courage and heart against all odds. Its hard to describe accurately or with any justice.

Beauty is easy to spot, you just have to want to see it. I encourage anyone who reads this to try something new, go experience something that relates to people.

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With Love
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage
www.lgbtqprisonsupport.com

Mail To:
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 D-610-2
MCC-TRU
P.O. Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272

or email through jpay.com
DOC: 823469
Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)
 

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