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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Prison Treasures

If in jail, what three items would you want most (a file, a saw or key is not permitted)? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1565).

When I was in prison in the late 1960s, I most appreciated three items – The Christian Science Monitor (newspaper format) daily edition, an anthology of American literature, and a space to call my own (my own bed and locker situated within a large open-spaced dormitory). The Christian Science Monitor offered not only news, but interesting essays on home life, literature, and so forth. The anthology of American literature kept me anchored in early, middle, and late American writings. It too provided some solace for me to fancy mystic kinship with Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, Twain, Sidney Lanier, and even Benjamin Franklin. Of course in prison there is little or no real privacy. The bed and locker provided a place to sleep and to stash a few keepsakes. It was a locker in name only and was not provided with a lock. In prison a daily positive personal routine is essential for good mental and spiritual health.

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