In Jail

Sometimes deprivation could arouse creative inspiration.

I have never been inside a cell. Nor I wish I could be one day.

During storms like today, I am bombarded with strange ideas. That’s probably beneficial to my writing.

I remembered once I tried to envision myself being locked up. Perhaps, not as a crook but a simple visitor who wished to experience the real thing.

Before I began my self-exile in my room, I readied the simple food just like what they could be eating there. No junk food or sodas. Three meals with minimum portions.

I took out the mattress in my bed and placed it outside the room. The pillows, too, were reduced to one. (I thought of taking them all out but I could not sleep without even one.)

When the room was ready, it looked like an ordinary cell, a bare quarter where a prisoner would stay and ruminate how he lost his freedom.

The first few hours went by as usual. My activities were normal except there was no TV to watch. I could live with it.

When you had nothing to do but write, then write you would. I was amazed how it could be gratifying to be left alone without any disturbance from the outside world. (I was even excused from doing household chores.)

But, a few hours later, monotony got into me.  I paced around the room looking for something else to do. Sleep was an option but sleeping longer than what the body needed sapped my energy. All I could think of was how to get out.

In the evening, everything was clear. Being inside a cell was psychological torture. The disadvantages outweighed the advantages. Not only freedom was obstructed, the incarceration could reduce one to a hopeless case.

It was only a day for me (and I controlled the situation) to feel the forced solitude. Imagine if the sentence was longer than a year, or even twenty years, how could have I survived the ordeal?



21 thoughts on “In Jail

    1. Yes, that’s true. That’s what I always experience when we have a power outage and slow internet connection. Just like being inside an imaginary cell.
      Right now, the bad weather is our jailer. 🙂

  1. Must be one of the most terrible experiences. Moorbey has written quite a lot about the horrible torture of solitary confinement. But lack of life, beauty, texture, and most of all care, it must be like draining the soul from the world. And worse when there’s no choice, and you know it can’t end.

  2. Interesting self incarceration. There’s a lot of philosophy could be drawn from your experiment, but I think your straightforward description says it well. Peace to you.

  3. I can’t even imagine. Yikes! My idea of a perfect writing location is in a great hotel room with lots of service! And in another country where I can’t receive telephone calls. Aaah! Bliss.

  4. Think of it as a retreat instead, not a jail. Jail has a negative connotation and will wreck havoc in your brain. This is a good practice for solitary confinement.

      1. Not this soon. Too much field work. Holy Week is the best time. Fasting, no TV and all the sacrifices rolled into. Perhaps, it will be worse than being in jail. 🙂

  5. I think it has a lot to do with how you interpret the situation, but I have to agree jail is a pretty bad place for anyone to be in. We should all be grateful for our freedom 🙂

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