Sending Metta to Brittany

Brittney Griner Alice Walker Metta 2022711 an

Sending Metta to Brittany

© 2022 by Alice Walker


May you be free
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be at rest
May you know we are thinking
of you


Because you are imprisoned in a country whose writers have meant the world to me, I wish to suggest that while you are there, read (if they are in English and there is a library in the prison) some of the great Russian writers: Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Gorky, Anna Akhmatova, etc. I would especially recommend a short story by Tolstoi that I recently re-read, at this later stage in my life, for its incredible wisdom concerning the choices we make  about how we wish to live this precious, short time.  It is The Death of Ivan IIyich.  IIyich knocks his side against a piece of furniture as he is arranging recent acquisitions in his upscale new home.  Later he discovers he knocked loose one of his kidneys and it has become cancerous.  We witness his gradual understanding of the self he was busily constructing as a feared and admired judge, and the truer self that found such a life far from the one that wished to unfold, inside him.

From reading a bit about you, I understand that you have chosen to honor the truer life inside you.  That being so, whatever happens will have incalculable meaning and resonance throughout your days.  The strangeness and fear must at times be nearly unbearable.  And you’ve felt much of this already in your life.  Know this too can be borne, can be endured, and can be another crucible for the strengthening of your soul. ~aw




Photo source: Lorie Shaull / Wikimedia Commons / Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner