is a stirring writer who seeks to motivate his audience with passion and power wielding the pen to 'jump start the heart' much like an artist applies a brush for the same purpose. Ironically he learned to feel deeply and to express those feelings in a most unusual setting . . .
He writes: "There is a circumstance in my life that may forever define me. To speak of it requires my deepest, most awkward confession . . . I served time in the Utah State Prison for 'securities fraud'.
It was the ultimate consequence for sacrificing my integrity and ignoring my moral compass for many years. It was a time of shame, penance, critical self-assessment and brutal honesty. Fortunately, it has resulted in my growth, progress -- transformation. It was brutal, complex and is hard to describe, even for a writer.
Charles Dickens' classic opening from "A Tale of Two Cities" depicts, for me, the circumstance of prison life:
"‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .’ "
I learned well this paradoxical existence.
Prison is an absolute in every sense of the word, every sense you might imagine. It is as negative, as you would expect, but profoundly positive, if you allow. When referring to that time I have often said: 'I wouldn't trade the experience for a million dollars or repeat it - for the world!'
But it exacted an exquisite price . . . it simply cost me everything! Still, it was my conscious choice to allow the singular dynamics in that extraordinary place, to strip away the dross and remake my character with as much integrity as I could process. The procedure was fantastic and an irony of remarkable proportions.
It is my belief that an authentic, internal change for good is the most ‘'unlikely'’ miracle that one might hope to experience. I thank Heaven for such a change, because I feel Heaven is the exclusive source of this ‘'impossible metamorphosis'. I embraced my commitment to it from the very beginning and remained dedicated to it through-out my time there.
My ultimate desire was to repair the damage to the people I had victimized and to also reconcile with the 'loves in my life' who had stepped away during that confusing time. This continues to be my primary motive and the source of my deepest sadness and greatest joy. With this motivation I learned to feel and explore these feelings and subsequently to record my discoveries.
During moments of clarity it is fascinating and profoundly ironic to note that it was my stupidity and awful choices that resulted in this period of '‘time out’' that not only produced my greatest shame and sorrow but was also the very means for a life of honor. It was to become my resource for future successes and victories.
Is it any wonder that I readily acknowledge that it was this singular circumstance that has come to define me? It has absolutely confirmed that: ‘good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of poor judgment.’ If that’'s not a definition ... I'’ll never know one.
Currently, I am working at bringing six manuscripts, (including a novel) a movie screenplay and a 36-week educational curriculum, into fruition. It is most challeng-ing and more gratifying than I can say.
Joyfully, the adventure continues!”
Where to find JM Jolley online
PEARLS in my Oyster: a little wisdom along the way
Empowering stories of inspiration
and peace for these challenging,
J.M. Jolley is a stirring writer who seeks to motivate his audience with passion and power, wielding the pen to “jump start the soul” much like an artist applies a brush for the same purpose. His background may be an ironic surprise to many readers as will the endings of many of the stories in this moving book.