~ from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center, by David Omondi

May 14, 2016

Dear Friends,

Love and Gratitude to all of you who continue to hold us in your hearts as we once again experience the unique blessing of incarceration. It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Berrigan (Presente!) and so many others who have helped light the path of active love and resistance to empire. Knowing that two of my most cherished mentors are both imprisoned in this facility, it is impossible not to feel a rightness of place and encouraged by a spirit of solidarity as our witness against the evils of the nuclear age provide yet another opportunity to practice presence to the marginalized, to be a voice for the oppressed, and to declare liberation and the promise of justice.

Much like a human body that experiences heightened sensitivity to sound or touch when deprived of sight, so too the human spirit can find new heights of freedom when forcibly restricted from unfettered physical movement. The clarity, peace, and transcendence that is available in a prison cell in the late night and early morning hours continues to astound, humble, and challenge me. It affirms this path, this journey towards the light, and casts fear in its own appropriate light as a trick, an illusion of empire.

Alignment is the only word that fully describes my experience in prison thus far. From the opportunity to commune with victims of the prison industrial complex, to hear testimony of other inmates who know the inner workings of Vandenberg Air Force Base and the evils practiced therein, to laugh and cry from the pains and joys of transcendence through separation – there are countless ways in which the universe continues to manifest grace in spite of the oppressions of empire.

In these moments we know that the moral arc does indeed bend towards justice. We pray for the people of the Marshall Islands. We pray for the architects of exploitation and material gain, those who seek to consolidate wealth and power through nefarious applications of knowledge and technology. We pray for a Mother Earth which seeks balance and harmony amidst our myriad violations. We ask that we might be instruments of peace, channels of the Divine Source of Infinite Creative Love that undergirds the entire universe. We know that we are joined in these prayers by those who have gone before, and by hundreds, thousands around the country and around the world. Together we are chanting Babylon down. Together we will see the promise of peace fully realized. Shalom, Salaam, Amani. So let it be.

With Gratitude once again,
Peace and Grace, Blessings and Balance,
and Love, Love, Love…
David Omondi