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Letter from Prison | Poem

 
 
        29 July 1999 
          " SometimesI picture my own arrival on the other side, imagining myself to being ratherindignant. I hear my first question as: 'Okay... just what was that allabout?' Then the days, I see myself gratefully aware the experiences andtests were endured and that most lessons were grasped. Crazy stuff. 

          "What I havebeen discovering in my own life is that learning to rid myself of an addictionis initially began by realizing my inability is built on the fear of losingsomething I dearly love....We feel vunerable...too vulnerable. It wouldbe easier to walk around downtown naked, or it would be easier to forfeita portion of our life on earth. 

          "But what finallyhit me Summer was that I actually realized wanting to quit. I realizedI wanted the chance to learn to paint, write, and generally live, withoutthe 30 year on and off habit of smoking. I wanted to see what new creativejuices would come, good or bad. Painful or not. I wanted to learn to interpreta movie or article or piece of music or even digest my dinner without themessage being tainted by anything other than my natural and spiritual mind....Slowly,my head has been exiting a vice-like womb which once constrained me withrather artificial and common stimuli....I wanted to feel the pain of quittingso I could eventually experience the freedom. 

          "We are taughtto run from the pain, instead of embracing it, when in fact, it is thepain which actually heals us. In a sense, it has been like being a childagain."

- William C. Payton 

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