Chained Heart

Below is a letter Annette wrote to prison inmates that viewed her hearts. Given that this piece is missing its corresponding document, this seems to belong here.

To the men who will view these Heart images:
These hearts have stories. They are visual metaphors for the toll that life takes on all of us... the disappointments, the betrayals, the abuse, and the trauma. Some of us have experienced life's cruelest blows at an early age and forever retain the images of those scars on our hearts. Others of us are simply worn down by the battles to survive in this world and make bad choices after feeling backed into a corner. We then build our defenses and harden our hearts. Sometimes we turn to substances and activities that help us numb our pain, and divert our focus from the anguish that lies at our core. What if we could walk through life with X-Ray vision, and see each other's hearts? What if we knew the stories that hide behind our tough exteriors or smooth facades? Would we view each other differently? Would we treat each other with more respect? I would so appreciate you taking time to look through this portfolio of Hearts, which I constructed out of virtually every possible material and media. They are all very 3-D dimensional, which made them impractical to share, so we photographed them for you. I was prompted to begin this project after my own life-shattering experience, when my husband committed suicide 3 years ago. Obviously these images portray many of my own emotions, but I'm finding out that it's not all about me. It's about you too. Take your time, and see which image resonates within you... where you stop and say, "That's exactly how I feel inside!!!" Or maybe one reminds you of how you felt when you were younger, or of an emotion or experience from childhood. If you could write out your response and reactions, and send them to Ron Miller, I will be compiling these into monologues, where actors will hold these Hearts and speak your words in a live presentation. It is my hope and prayer that others can begin to see YOU as more than a nameless inmate number, but as a human being, flawed as we all are, yet made in the image of God. In all of our brokenness, we are still his beloved children. Many thanks and blessings to you.

Chained 1
Chained 2
Chained 3