I don’t know whether I thought enlightenment was outside the box, or
it was boxed up, inaccessible 
unless you really worked hard 
to empty your mind.

But emptiness is both inside and out,
The box is also you, has always been you, always will be you.

You see, I sat down and discovered I was already sitting.
I took a breath and realized I had been holding it.
I chased what was behind me, my constant companion.
And I’m still chasing, I’m still breathing, I’m still sitting, I’m still box.

Empty box, sky mind.

I’m sitting in my not-box—it was only 
ever just a thought, wasn’t it?— 
letting go of one feeling 
and then another. I tie them 
to clouds, one after another. 

Released. Let them float.

My friends, they will return.

- J. Parrish Lewis, November 2021 

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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