OG’s Seat

White Butterfly on Ficus Tree

Just before my turn to speak at a parole hearing last week, a story came to me; a story I hoped might convey what I wanted to say. So, after telling the parole board after my meeting’s Wednesday night sharing circle, I concluded by saying something like this:

“One of the founders of our circle, OG*, often comes late. He does construction so it’s hard for him to get to the sharing circle, which begins at 7:00, until it has already started. So, because he’s so important to our community, we always put out an extra chair. Now, you might say “That’s OG’s seat.” You might say “That’s Elijah’s chair.” Or you might say that every week, our circle is saving the space for redemption, for transformation.”

Honestly? From where I sat, only one bit of all that verbiage resonated: That OG did construction! I could see the parole board take that (seemingly minor) detail in. Nod their heads. “Ah, yes,” those nods seemed to say. “Returning citizens do construction. That’s how the world works.” And, those nods also seemed to say, “This white-haired Quaker is connected to people like OG. Who is real. So this circle she’s describing seems to be real. And an actual possibility for X, if we decide to grant him parole. Oh.”

So, no, those precious words, redemption, transformation? They didn’t carry the water. A seemingly insignificant detail did. Oh.

Whatever works, right?

*Not his real initials. But OG kinda works.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, and greetings and salutations to you and to you and for very especially for you For always my awesomely special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, my so, so very dearest and darling friend and sister!!!! Wow!!!! YAY!!!!! Wow, my very heart and spirit are just so warmed and happy from this very endearing blog post article where you tell of the ongoing story of your blessedly pure in heart and holy Friends Meeting at Cambridge with the very powerful Sharing Circle with the weekly breaking bread together with the awesome formerly incarcerated people. Sister, WOW, I’m just so, so very heartened to read more about prisoner X and how you received such utter discernment at the Parole Board hearing on Tuesday afternoon, July 11, 2017 in composing your words carefully to help in the very process of X gaining parole. I was praying so hard and so much for prisoner X and for you, sister, as I pray for and think of you as usual as always anyway, and I was praying so much and so hard for all of you back on that Tuesday afternoon on July 11, 2017 that X was doing alright and keeping the faith and that the Parole Board people would have such an open heart and an open mind. WOW, Patricia, I love your great sharing here on OG and I’m just delighted that you all save a chair as Elijah’s chair in a sense for OG at the weekly meal at the Sharing Circle since he runs late due to being on his construction job. Sister, what brilliant urging from Spirit as you were guided so sweetly by Spirit to speak to OG’s construction job as a very fine example to the Parole Board as to how the newly freed prisoners at the weekly meal have constructive goals and can find employment upon their release. And what powerful thinking you have here, sisterfriend, and what stupendous thinking here and at the Parole Board hearing as you very wisely assisted the Parole Board people with your attuned power of persuasion to see how as OG does construction that the newly freed prisoners who come to the Sharing Circle weekly meal are getting the very practical and concrete help they need there as they rebuild their very lives toward a new construction even literally making themselves over into new people with such a new, refreshing start to their lives. Wow, sisterfriend, I can just tell as well that you were able to connect to the Parole Board people at the hearing as you struck a deep note with the word construction. WOW, my absolutely AWESOME friend and sister of mine, Patricia, you were blessed with such keen insight and perception here!!!! Wow!!!! YAY!!!! You DID very much indeed gain the discernment you were seeking in crafting your great words!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! Sister, I was praying so hard and so much for you, my dear, dearest Patricia, for prisoner X, and for the Parole Board people there and that this hearing would just go very smoothly and very well!!!!! I love how OG is one of the great founders of the Circle. OG is very much indeed connected to very real and deeply sincere people with such openheartedness like YOU, dearest Patricia, and to the other very delightful folks at the Sharing Circle, and I can just tell very well that the Parole Board people for certain had such great insight into how each and every one of you work in the unity of the spirit in a very empowering manner and that the freed prisoners can not only receive spiritual, emotional, mental, and psychological help in terms of deep redemption and transformation but also that they can gain the very practical and concrete help they need in order to make their way with their freedom and their very lives with all of those life needs and concerns once they are no longer incarcerated with the great advocacy each and every one of you can offer straight from your very hearts and spirits for them.

    Sister, I truly believe in the power of learning, healing, growth toward redemption and transformation for some of the newly freed prisoners in a general sense in our country, society, and world, and for persons in general. I know that some folks who are prisoners won’t change and refuse to change. I think of how today that I watched on HLN the Parole Hearing for that evil O. J.Simpson. I was hoping that he wouldn’t get Parole after serving nine years for that robbery he committed with the others at gunpoint to “attempt” to get back his memorabilia and other stuff. That could have gone down so badly with guns being in the picture so I think he shouldn’t have received the Parole that he attained today. Also, I think that he got away with those murders of our dear Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Sister, I used to like O. J. Simpson even though I didn’t know as much about him really. As soon as I found out decades ago that he battered our so, so very dearest and darling Nicole with vile and abusive domestic violence I was done with him then!!!!!! He is disgusting and my very heart broke for our Nicole and I became so, so very saddened to learn that Simpson was that kind of a man but I was glad to find out the real truth about him being utterly disgusted by him. I don’t think that Simpson will reform himself and become rehabilitated and I don’t agree with the decision of the Parole Board. and then with that horrid Bill Cosby. I’m so, so very glad that I learned the real truth about this man who I’m now so disgusted with, sisterfriend!!!!! Sister, I used to like Bill Cosby and I even remember that when I was a little girl I so loved watching his show, I Spy, and I loved his cartoon Fat Albert. Wow, I really believe all of the so, so very dearest and darling women who have come forward with the scary stories as to how they were raped, drugged, and otherwise sexually assaulted and harassed. I’m so, so disappointed as to how that trial went-I wanted him to be definitely found GUILTY!!!!!!!! Sister, I’m just so, so very saddened and heartbroken learning that this actor and comedian who I just used to love is the kind of vicious man that he is but I’m so, so very glad to learn the very truth about him. I’m absolutely DISGUSTED by both of these heartless men, my sister!!!!!!! I’m so glad that I found out the real truth about them, though, Patriicia!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!

    Sisterfriend, I just so, so very much love, like, enjoy, and appreciate this very engaging blog post article here by absolutely FANTASTIC YOU, Patricia! the title is just perfect here, absolutely perfect, and greatly adds to and complements the very applicable theme and topic of your very astute and acute with such sweet and powerful sagacity blog post article. The picture which you have very graciously and generously used here is just perfect here, absolutely perfect and picture perfect here gracing your very fine and excellent writing here with such a nicely sensitive touch. I thank-YOU so, so very profusely, kindly, dearly, and deeply as well as to how you’ve as usual as always featured and included some marvelous links with your very astounding blog post article here which I thoroughly enjoy reading through, sister! WOW, what a great wealth of information here, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! Patricia, my very, very heart, and my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit are just so, so very warmed by your very empowering, inspirational, and encouraging words here. I have seen the very power of redemption and transformation in my own life as I’ve been clean and sober for almost 27 years now even though I’ve never been in jail or prison and I don’t have a record. I grew up well off financially growing up black middle income but I grew up abused in every way from both parents, two older brothers, and all sorts of other relatives with both parents, both older brothers, and very, very many other relatives being practicing alcoholics and addicts. Not only did I receive the keen blessing and insight of learning, healing, and growth with the power of redemption and transformation in getting the very needed spiritual, mental, emotional, and psychological help I needed and with past, and still current, ongoing therapy for decades and with the great help from my very, very many, multiple 12-Step Programs which I am such a rejoicing and proud member of but also as well I receive the very practical and concrete help just like OG in getting construction to renew and rebuild my life as a new person learning, healing, growing, and whole!!!!!! Sister, I truly believe that for people who want to learn, heal, and grow, and who make a definite, intentional, concrete, and concerted effort toward becoming a new construction both literally and figuratively in a sense can very much indeed be successful in changing their very lives anew, Patricia!!!!! Patricia, my very heart and spirit are just so warmed by this great article here by so, so very precious YOU, sister, and I feel even better and brighter with even more greatly added cheer!!!!! I’m now as usual as always even more emboldened, encouraged, and inspired to continue suiting up and showing up, to resist, to interrupt, and to persist in never ever giving up, never ever losing heart, never ever losing spirit, and in never ever losing Spirit, sisterfriend as I continue to keep my very faith and hope alive with such a sweetly enduring positive optimism!!!!!! Sisterfriend you are For Always as usual as always my eternal blessing and you help me very blessedly and immensely with my very walk with Spirit and I thank-YOU and Spirit continually for YOU and for YOUR very presence in my life!!!!! Sister, as I For Always say, YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!!! YAY for your very in-depth with such beautiful descriptive clarity and brilliant blog post articles, other magnificent and enlightening writings and books!!!!! YAY for all you do so, so very well in trying so, so very hard and your absolutely very best in such a diligently conscientious manner!!!!! YAY for our very friendship and sisterhood, Patricia!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!! Please have such a totally terrific and thrilling Thursday evening, a fun-filled and fantastic Friday, a wondrously wonderful weekend ahead, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!!! Jesus so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, Patricia, and so do A WHOLE BUNCH, my so, so very dearest and darling friend!!!!!!! WOW, I so thank-YOU for just being the so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful YOU who you are, sister and friend, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always my so, so very For Always awesomely precious and dearly special soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you're For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with My and God's Peace and Love For You For Always, friend of mine, and with Such Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, sister of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend black woman and For Always in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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