Monday, October 25, 2010

The Balance of Hope

The life of the prisoner, no matter what length of sentence, is littered with events which add fuel to that most precious of internal fires - hope.

Hope that there are those beyond the walls who still remember us and care about our fate. Hope that our lives will improve. Hope that amongst the fog, the deception, the endless bureaucracy, there can be found some humanity. Hope that we will, one day, regain a semblance of being free.

And yet...the life of the prisoner is not his own and fulfilment of his hopes lies in the actions and decisions of others. The efforts to keep that flickering flame glowing are delicate. If too much weight is placed on hope, and it remains unfulfilled for yet another timeless year...there are limits to human endurance.

Hope, then, must be nurtured. Hope must be fuelled and protected. It must be hidden away, kept safe from the uncertainties and disappointments that comprise the daily reality of a prisoner’s existence. Hope must never be allowed to burn too brightly and yet never be permitted to falter.


  1. 'And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.'
    1 Corinthians 13:13

    Hope is so vital, so keep it burning and be assured there are people out here who care.

  2. This is a lovely piece Ben, quite touching and moving. Best wishes, thinking of you xx

  3. I was reading "The drama of being a child now" and came without realising it to be imagining myself in a prison. Actually to be scared beyond wits end of the cell and to be clinging onto the wire of the exercise yard so i didn't have to go back in there.

    They got me in there in the end, and i screamed and cried, and the next day a prisoner took pity on me in his cell and i cried in his arms like a baby, and he made it so the screws let me stay out more on the grass because i was so afraid of the cell.

    And that prisoner was you.