Day 810 Easy chair

Today is Wednesday. Today, I ran my hands over granite countertops, a stailess steel Wolfe stove, marble vanities, cherry cabinets and hardwood floors as I cleaned a house. Luxury.
You know, as much as I appreciate the high end stuff, I find myself intimidated by it. Give me sturdy old oak or pine that’s a bit distressed and I’m fine.
I like comfy and worn things. I like things that you can put your feet on, sink into, spill coffee on.
Someone asked me yesterday why I have a connection with those incarcerated and those, who have been released.
I told him it’s because I’m not here to judge; just love, encourage and help them make a better life if I can.
He smiled and put his hands behind his head revealing arms covered with tatoos. His eyes filled and he said, “As one who was incarcerated, I thank you for your compassion.”
I told him I’m like an easy chair; people feel comfy and safe.

Speaking of incarcerated; Matt’s birthday is coming up in 12 days ( June 11). It will be his 7th birthday in prison. Send him birthday wishes..remember– no color cards. He could use some cheer.

Blessings and peace dear friends..;)❤

Day 809 investing in others

Today is Tuesday. Today, I met with some very compassionate people who run a recovery and wellness program for those dealing with substance abuse and mental illness. They are looking for group facilitators for their program.
Today, we talked about how younger people are using heroin and dying. We talked about the lack of community, lonliness, peer pressure to join in and a sense of hopelessness for the future.
I was also informed that weed is now being laced with poison.
For heaven’s sake why would anyone do that?
We need to be supportive long before kids get hooked on drugs. I fear that we live in a very callous society.

Today, I am thankful for those who spend their energy, time, and dollars investing in the welfare of others.

Peace my dear friends..🌹💕

Day 808 Memorial Day (give peace a chance)

Today is Monday. Today is Memorial Day. Today is the day we honour those in our military who have died in our countless wars.
Today, I chose to remember not only military members who died; but, also the many many civilians who perished, too.
War is a death machine; a soul eater; a hope destroyer.
I have seen those who did not die; but, came back broken physically, mentally, and spiritually. Some died later by their own hand; many live homeless, shells of who they were before war blown about like dried leaves. Some are caged in prisons when the trauma and ptsd forced them to self medicate because they received no help, no medical care.
I am a veteran and Memorial Day is not parades or celebrations or flag flying for me. Memorial Day reminds me of a terrible loss of life. Peace is not lucrative. War is big business. That hasn’t changed.
I am sorry if this sounds unpatriotic. There is nothing patriotic about people dying and it’s not for “our freedom.”

Peace..when will they give it a chance?

Day 807 Life is precious(not always in America)

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/he-heads-back-prison-nashville-man-says-goodbye-new-life-he-hoped-build#stream/0

Today is Sunday. Today, I want to thank Ana for the comments. You made me feel like I could fly. We need to encourage each othe to keep going, eh?
Today, I went fishing. I caught my first 2 fish in the state. They were large mouth bass and each were well over a pound. They were beautiful. I let them go after admiring them. Life is so precious.
I told Matt this evening. He’s not much of a fisherman; but, he was excited for me.
Today, I read the story about Matthew Charles who was convicted of dealing drugs.  He went to prison in 1996 to serve 35 years!! He was let out in 2016 after 21 years because of the new drug laws.  Since that time he has held a job, contributed to his church and helped other prisoners.  That wasn’t good enough for the Middle District of Tennessee ( where Matt was prosecuted and persecuted), they went after Charles and because he was labeled a career offender then, he must go back and serve the remainder of his time.

Please read his story.  Please share it.  This is the DOJ in America.  This is not about rehabilitation, restoration or justice; this is about power, about cruelty, this is evil.  This is total disregard for life.

Peace my friends…peace.

 

Day 806 practice what I preach

Today is Saturday.  Today, I received a letter from one of my incarcerated friends who I was able to send stamps to thanks to the generosity of a few people.  He was so grateful.

I am grieved to say he was stabbed in the stomach at the Tennessee prison where he is caged.  He was life flighted to a nearby hospital.

Honestly, sometimes I want to stop doing this; writng prisoners.  I have nightmares about them.  But then, I think about how for some of them I am the only line to the outside, I am the normal in their nightmare, I am the one who cares about them without judgement.

I think the worst in all of this is the feeling of total helplessness to change the conditions.  My friend is in with gang members and he has been targeted.  I want to give him hope that he will survive.  Is that all there is? Survival?

It’s so very big and I for one feel so very small.  I love my friends and it is a terrible price to see them suffer.  It is so close to home.  I just want to be strong, supportive, encouraging and loving.  Somedays it’s all I can do to write, and write something that will brighten their day.

Matt feels the same.  He said tonight that he wanted to be positive, encouraging and give some hope; but, he finds it difficult some days.

I always say love is an action.  I need to live what I preach.  Please pray for me.  Thank you💕

 

 

 

Day 805 “Shattered” an essay by my son

Today is Friday. Today, I wish to thank Mark Aldrich who writes “The Gad About Town” for publishing my son’s essay about feeling shattered. Take a read. This is from a young man who has been treated so very unjustly.

SHATTERED
by
Matthew Paul DeHart
(May 2018)

Freeze me, put me in a time capsule, and wake me up when most of society cares. I am a damaged relic. I wanted to write about the chimeric corporate security state we live in. I wanted to discuss the benefits of proportional representation and Westminster parliamentary governments. I wanted to talk about general strikes and forcing change. I wanted to do this but I’m shattered. I feel like I can’t write anymore, not anonymously, not as myself. I want to communicate experience. How do you describe torture? I can”t. I went to counseling at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. I explained how all I wanted for myself and my family was a safe place – then I was handed over. Shattered is the closest description of how I feel; shattered in my mind, shattered in my relationships with other people and institutions, shattered in my soul. I’m finding solace in Svetlana Alexievich’s “Secondhand Time.” I empathize with those who lost something they believed in, who could only reminisce amongst themselves. I love my family. They understand. I wonder how many others do. Torture doesn’t “officially” happen here and even if it did, half of America seems to support it if you believe in the polls. Who are you people? Are you my neighbors? Did I go to church with you? Did you think I was lying? If you were against torture, what did you think once the medical records came out?
Maybe you are shattered, too…but in a different way. Come to think of it, that’s our country –
beyond fractures, cuts and gouges, we’re shattered. All the pieces are still here. The mass is the same. It’s just not fitting together. I don’t fit together. We don’t fit together. I’m one of you. I would have died for you. I still would. But, would you have cared if I made that sacrifice? How much do we really support the troops and I don’t mean just sending them to countless wars. I’m in prison with quite a few and they don’t fit either.

May 1996, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. I go outside one Friday evening knocking on every door down my street, down others as well, asking, “Do you have kids? If yes, do they wanna play flashlight tag?” Twenty or thirty of us played outside from twilight until 10, sometimes later. We did this all summer until I moved to New Jersey. I was 11. I had been walking to school since I was 9 when we lived on Ft. Meade – next to the NSA, but I was doing what was normal for generations. I “grew up” in New Jersey. I took the train alone into the city (NYC) when I was in high school. My friends did, too. I surfed the internet and got free music and pretty much everything. I worked, too. I painted, did retail, registered and sold domains. Then 9-11 happened. I went to Ground Zero on the first anniversary of the attack, saw President Bush as he came to the city to speak. I believed in my government, in my neighbors. I believed in civil liberties and free markets – even while growing in my activist aspirations. We seemed stronger after 9-11 yet we were coming apart. We’d been split before. The Civil War was horrific and shameful, something we’ve never truly recovered from. De-segregation, Vietnam, Watergate; we were broken then, too; but, it seems like we still knew each other. We were made to fit for awhile. We didn’t shatter all at once. It took place in slow motion. The Neocons finished it. Maybe it was inevitable from the beginning with our legacy of exclusion and slavery. I do know that the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) never included all of us. Their America was always different than mine; more militant, more violent (overseas and at home), more about capital and less about compassion. How have we gotten to managed outrage, managed media, managed government? Our shattered selves, shattered communities demand distraction – our phones, our movies and yes our national news. News that when not talking Trump or disaster is pointing to everyone else’s problems, every other country’s bad leaders, their corruption, their “regimes, Sometimes our government but mostly theirs. Let’s all be somewhere else. When we’re not, let’s point the finger at each other. Forget glue. Sweep us into a pile. Sweep us into two piles. Shattered. Does this end? If so, how? I fit with my family, some of you more or less with yours. We fit with our friends. I’d like to fit with you. I want you to fit with each other. It wasn’t about winning wars, buying houses and cars, enjoying a cheeseburger at McDonald’s that made us great. It was our shared experiences, shared hardships. It was knocking on random doors and meeting neighbors, making friends. Could it be so simple?

What can you do?  Stand against torture.  Tell my son know he is not alone.

Peace.

Day 804 Samantha

Today is Thursday. Today, I want to tell you about a young girl, Samantha. She was 18 years old. She had mental illness; she was bipolar. Samantha had no health insurance and she succumbed to what many people do to escape their tortured minds: drugs.
Samantha was scared most of the time; scared because of her illness; scared of going to prison; scared of everything.
You see, we have plenty of money to pump into politics; plenty of money to
pump into our war machine; plenty of money to pump into surveillance; but, we don’t seem to have any money to help a young girl like Samntha get health care, counseling and medication so she can function and care for herself.
So, last week, Samantha, who had no hope that she could still the voices in her head, jumped from a balcony to her death.
Today, I cleaned a mansion. I’m fairly certain it would go for a million easily. The basement had a full bar and a huge theatre room. The owners were home. What I noticed was how flat they seemed. Neither smiled, nor did they talk to each other. I asked if either one had gotten outside to feel the warmth and smell the wonderful flowers. Here were 2 people safe in their wealth. I’m sure they didn’t know Samantha or anyone like her.
Samantha,I heard your friend, who struggles like you did, sobbing for you.
He will carry you in his heart. He is homeless; but, he has a richness of heart that no money can buy.
RIP child.

Peace my friends.