Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today is a Good Day to Live

Sitting up in these solitary confinement cells, for years on end. I used to always wake up and tell myself that today is a good day to die. But, today is different: it's a good day today. I am pleased with the things I am seeing today. The good spirits and cheer of the convicts around me definitely seems to be resonating with me. Today is a good day to live.

I received a letter in the mail last night and its always good to know there are people out there who actually care about me, about my struggles, and situations and about what’s going on in here. It's definitely a good thing to maintain a solid connection with people on the outside.

Here, where I'm at, the pickle-suits do not pass out the mail until night time, so we have to wait all day and all night, just to see if we get something or not. It’s always uplifting to our spirits to receive a letter from someone or a piece of mail. For some of us, its the only thing we have to look forward to each day in here, so that's one of the things that has me feeling real good about life right now.

I'm also glad to see that other prisoners are on top of their game. There's a guy in the cell a few doors down from me, to my left, who is doing his work-out routing right now. I can hear him counting his sets: "one, two, three: ONE. one, two, three, TWO. one, two, three, THREE". There's another prisoner in the cell a few doors down from me, to my right, who's working on his case-legal work. That's some hard stuff to figure out. It takes a lot of time, study, and practice. It's never easy when you're trying to go up against a system that owns the law, writes the law, and makes the law. But, we all know those people don't play fair. There's always gonna be some kind've dirt on them, so its always possible to beat them at their own game! It’s definitely good to see people on the grind in here, its good to know that they're trying, its good to know that they still have some fight left in them, and its always good to know that they haven't given up.

There are other prisoners all around me, in their cells, who are either exercising, reading, writing, or who are deep into their studies. One of my neighbors, who I often have study sessions with, was talking to me about different styles of study; how someone could really get a good study program down if he was truly serious about his studies. He said there are all kinds of things a prisoner can study if he really wants to learn something and not only learn, but apply it too. I told him I feel him on that. There's a lot of people who read, but don't really take the time to think about what they read. They don't absorb it, they don't try to memorize it, and they don't-try to apply it. They just read to pass the time, which is cool, I guess, because its better to be doing something productive to pass the time than to be on a path of self-destruction, or to even be wasting ticks on a bunch of irrelevant nonsense. He said that he agreed with me and that sometimes he'll spend 2-3 hours reflecting on one sentence. He'll take his etymological dictionary out, he'll break out his encyclopedia and other reference materials and he'll look at the root word to find out where the word originated from, what it means, and when it came into use. Then, he will just sit back and really think about the entire sentence, to see what was underneath the surface. All could say to that was, "WOW." I definitely appreciated his conversation, and that's another thing that has me feeling good about the day today.

So far, there hasn't been any negativity today, nobody yelling or screaming out the side of their doors, calling other prisoner obscene names. Nobody's tripping on the pigs and they aren't going out of their way to mess with any of us today. Even the psych-patients seem to be quiet today. No banging on the desks or kicking on the doors - and they haven't been yelling and screaming at all today, like they often do.

The morale amongst the prisoners on this tier seems to be pretty good. The conversations have been productive and uplifting. I can definitely sense that everybody's feeling pretty good about themselves today. Everybody's joking, laughing and nobody's stressing, nobody seems to feel the need to be a tough guy or prove themselves to the next man. There's a sense of community on the tier today. It's not something you see around here often so its always a good feeling when it shines forth.

Today is a good day to live. I say that from the solitary confines of a prison cell, so I must be saying something! They haven't killed me, they haven't stripped my spirit or my joy for life. My love for freedom still remains strong. They can't stop me from loving life or from feeling human. I'm alive and it feels good to be alive.

El Coyote

E.S.P. 2007

ABC-Nevada Prison Chapter