Tag Archives: prisonwifelife

Headphones for the heart

“If we can make it through another day
With you believing in my innocence
And we can make it through another year
‘Cause we both need it to forget this fear” – White Lie by The Lumineers

Listening to music through headphones changes the music. It changes how you feel about the music, the lyrics. It changes the story, the intensity. Mild fascination with words sung become a life line, a soundtrack to your deepest emotional crevices. The songs become your heartbeat. The music becomes you and you become the music. At least, that’s what happens to me. It must be said that I am absolutely a person who depends on music for survival.

I’ve recently become smitten with the Lumineers and although I heard their first popular song, “Ho Hey”, some time ago, I didn’t pay the band much attention. I actually heard “Ho Hey” initially on a road trip out to visit Jeremy, when visiting was an entire trip away. I remember thinking to myself how appropriate the line “I’ve been trying to do it right. I’ve been living a lonely life” was on my solo journey out into the desert to hold hands with a man I have never brushed skin with outside in the sunshine. Those lyrics stuck with me. The loneliness of that line stuck with me and I found myself singing it over and over again on that car ride.

I recently got hooked on The Lumineers and have even persuaded Jeremy to download some of their songs on his MP3 player. Yes, sometimes prisoners get MP3 players, though definitely not for free. I apply parts of each song I hear  to my life with Jeremy. I read an article about the band recently, where the lead singer referred to his brother(another band member), Jeremy, as “Jer” and it made me raise an eyebrow and laugh and sort of cry at the same time because we call my Jeremy, “Jer”. It’s funny how common things become magic when you allow them to.

I believe in unseen life connections. I often have trouble having faith in those connections because the patterns are woven in such a delicate manner that they are tough to see on especially dark nights. I get so frustrated with the kingdom of love that we have built because it is so unbelievably beautiful and vulnerable and it feels, fragile even though it’s strong.  On the surface we are two kids in love who happened to stumble upon each other, maybe by a happy accident, maybe by divine intervention. What do I know? I know that I love someone who lives in a prison in Nevada who came to know, and eventually marry, through a single letter I sent so long ago. I know that what we have is the truest life experience I have ever known. I know that I need to start fucking believing in this path I chose to walk on again. I am going to listen to life with my headphones on from here on out. The situation isn’t ideal, obviously, but I often feel like I’m taking “the music” for granted. I feel like I stopped looking at this adventure with Jer in an exciting light. I replaced “adventure” with “fear” and “hurt” and “the end”.

I’m going to dig deep, open my ears and my heart. I’m going into this next area of the path with the feeling that this is the beginning. This IS where the magic happens. It’s like when you’re listening to an especially long intro to a song. You’re waiting for the intro to “break”. You’re waiting, waiting, waiting, and when the lyrics begin and beat changes, you realize there can be no song without the intro.

“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference”- Stubborn Love by The Lumineers

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Prison Presents

Have you ever received a drawing or painting from your lover that was commissioned just for you, with details that made your heart skip a beat? What about a rose made out of toilet paper, colored with markers, smooshed in the mail, but quite possibly more beautiful than real roses? Locks of beautiful blonde hair from a major hair cut,secured with a hair that tie, that you drag across your neck and collarbones? A stuffed bear made out of t-shirt fabric, dyed with kool-aid?

My husband surprises me, more than most people on the outside ever could, with these little gifts, these cherished little oddities from inside the walls. They are all sent with love, these gifts from beyond the gun towers. They smell like prison, they look like prison, they embody prison, they are prison in all of its disgusting yet thriving spirit. I love all these things.
It’s half humbling, half heartache receiving these gifts. You know that someone put time into these items, maybe even love, or some semblance of love. I open these envelopes or boxes and I squeal with delight. I examine my “goodies” and I often hold them against my chest, where my heart is, and I connect my heartbeat to the item that my husband has lovingly sent, convinced it would win him points. And it does. Win him points. Every single time.
I smell these items. I know, that sounds strange, but I want to make everything about the item as tangible and memorable and connecting as possible. I want to feel my husband’s excitement over sending me something unique and hand made and strangely meaningful.
These gifts, these little tokens of love and “I’m thinking of you” are so special to me. They are evidence that I am loved, but perhaps the greatest gift I’ve received from prison is love itself.
Love and a man that does not quit. Love and a partner who cares deeply for my heart and soul and every layer in between. Love and a promise of hope that comes from just beyond the barbed wire and is transmitted by sound waves, infrequent visits, and treasures made by the hands of those convicted and condemned.
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