I think prison is near the top of the list of horrifically fascinating human constructions. It really doesn't take much moral abstraction at all before the whole concept goes up in a puff of smoke. Consider this Syzmborska poem, without which my poem wouldn't exist (I love where I found it, too):www.journeywithjesus.net/Poems…
I often think we (non-psychopaths) are moved to murder in the name of outrage at the larger mortality we're contained by. Expiation, execution...we like to blame our urge to kill publicly, or ritualistically, on moral rectitude, or maybe to satisfy some animal urge, some unexpunged-by-social-evolution remnant of our cavebrains. But then I think maybe humans have to be horrific because we're in a horrific conundrum. We have morality in a (potential) moral vacuum. So we say to the universe, "Oh, so those are the rules, are they? Well, fine then, we'll just go ahead and play by them." But it's really just us making up the rules to suit our own experience: a fine survival mechanism.
You know, I often feel, whenever I'm rambling about my amoral universe, that people will think I'm criticizing things. Sometimes I am, but often I'm not. I just see things that way. And like your teacher giving you a grade, I strive for a similar detachment. You're not a bad person for getting a B-, but that's how the math jigs out. If we're gonna think about the universe in terms of grades on papers, that's what you have to live with.
Well, I don't see the world as grades, except in the sense that I see the many spectrums of things as relevant, useful tools of perception. In other words, I wouldn't give The Princess Bride an A+, but I would acknowledge that of the near-infinite spectrums a film can be perceived on The Princess Bride is higher on most spectrums than most.
So, I love to contemplate these prisons. I think they're much more pervasive than we think. A literal prison is a horrific thing, so why isn't a prison of the mind, like my inability to rank The Princess Bride below other films, or a devotee's inability to doubt the holy word? The relief we can take, as the wardens of our own minds, is in knowing that time will, one way or another, in one sense or another, free everything we try to contain. And I think in there we can find what Christian's so often distort about their own book's notion of forgiveness. If time will make dust of everything we experience, why not forgive, release, let go? Why not free our minds?
This started as a poem called Out, a loose, obvious comparison between being a secret gay and an 'out' gay, through the metaphor of a released prisoner. So painfully on the nose.