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Saturday, November 28, 2015

                                                     WOMAN                                                     
                                                                    


                                I have wrote many posts in the past few years, most are on my Blog if some of you want to venture over to the address let me know and I'll PM you the link. At times, and I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but at times, hell most of the time I speak openly and honestly, through my words you see my heart and soul. It comes so easy for me, it's down right scary.
                               I have been told by many of you who may read this that I have to forget and forgive what I have done. I think for the most part I have. Some of you I believe, and this is no fault of your own think that when a man, ya me I guess lol, talks of matters of the heart and soul he has some dark deep secret that needs exorcising, some internal pain that he must let go. Let me state right here and now that this old hard headed fool is truly OK. Sure I have regrets but hell who doesn't? 
                               There is a part of me that longs for a battle, but not within, a battle against the forces that trap those within themselves. See, I believe you can be a warrior without weapon and ammo. Your mind can be and is the most powerful weapon you have. Trust it, believe in it and all should work it's way out. Not always, but most I believe, I have to believe in that. I want to be a warrior for those that need help within. I think I may have found that avenue in a keyboard. So many of you wage battles within that you can so easily win, you have the weapons and ammo.
                                I learned a few years ago my battles were mostly won and lost within my hard head. There is a cycle in us that we either continue or break it down. Yes there are forces fighting you for control of the cycle, wanting to see you fail. I'm not into religion as much anymore and I hope that doesn't offend some of you, but I now know the answer lies within me and you. OK now that I have bored you enough with all that I want to say a special thank you to all the ladies, women, mothers, wife's, grandma's, sisters, aunts, daughters, and nieces. I think I have them all covered. The ones for the most part who cared for us when sick, and clothed us for school. 
                                They made and packed lunches, and tied stubborn shoe laces. The unsung hero's who make a house a home. I lost my mom in 1983 and think of her daily. She was feisty and could be hard headed. She was cop, jury, and judge. She taught me things about life and honor that I still use today. I have known many good, if not great women in my life. Women who against great odds showed love and knowledge. I was very lucky to know my mother for the first 25 years of my life. Some of you weren't as lucky as I was and lost yours at a very early age. Some are blessed with her still in the kitchen making what seems like the greatest meal you will ever eat. 
                                 As mothers leave, we are hopefully fortunate enough to meet another woman who doesn't replace dear old Mom, but who we should love and cherish as thought it was her. I know there are many who are laughing or saying "You never met my wife." Yes true but life and love is a 2 way street, and I don't know all your situations. I speak of mine. 
                                 Then there are those who hit the jackpot and maybe, just maybe meet another woman who without a magic wand takes your problems and troubles away ever so slightly. 
                                  In Norse and the Viking life style, women were honored and treated as equals. They even fought beside their men in battle and were called Shield Maidens. I hope to find my Shield Maiden one day, the future looks pretty good, and she may be just around the corner.

Friday, November 27, 2015

                   When I got out of prison on August 26th, 2011 I though of this song as the Greyhound left Huntsville and headed down I45 towards Houston. I was scared, I was nervous, I was free, I was just an ordinary man. And this Diesel belching machine was taking me home. But did I have a home, and what exactly is a home? Is it 4 walls? 
                   No I don't think so, Is it comfort and safety at night, yes it could be. But for me home is in here, my mind, my soul, my heart. I worried about what my 3 kids would see and feel 10 years after. No visits, but that was my choice really and they were young. Was I selfish? Maybe, we just thought it better for all concerned. I decision I do not regret. I looked off in the distance to trees and hills, to row after row of houses, or could they be homes? The bus was loud but with something I had not heard since August 28, 2001, true laughter and excitement, and for them I was smiling inside, my soul had come back from a place I never want to return to again.
                   Off in the distance the buildings of H-Town and I acting like a child on Christmas morning. My breath shortened and my heart beat with the rigor of my teenage years. The emotions flooded in me and I felt a lump in my throat, a tear welled up in my eyes. I look back on that day over 4 years ago and think, have I made it home yet? 
                   A lot has been going on lately with me and I will not bore you with details except to say I have not had a alcoholic drink in over a month and I never feel more intoxicated in my life. I have found love in many ways, through my writings, ever so humble and needing help they be, but I do talk and speak through my heart, mind and soul. Love with others too. I have been asked and told by many loved ones to let go of the past, what you did, we love you. I try, but can't. In saying that I now know why...maybe, I need to tell people openly.
                   I have made more mistakes than most men will ever know. Sure some have made worse, much worse, but that doesn't help me. See it's only me who awakes still, and wonders and worries. I owe a lot, but to only a few, and they know who they are. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

"The Valkyrie"
They come from above
Like a bolt of lighting
Their arrival, most welcomed
I knew the reason, yet smiled

We fought the good fight
A just fight for our people
Songs would be sung
And tales would be told

My pain was almost nonexistent
My heart never fuller 
For they had arrived for me
The Valkyrie, my Valkyrie

Saturday, October 31, 2015

"The Traveler"
He waited for the mist to leave
Let the morning sun do its work
His mind was clear now, 

His resolve sure

His quest now before him
His past behind
Time to rise
For he was the traveler
"The Warrior"
He went by many names
Some called him Hope
While others referred to him as Justice
Protector of the weak, sick, young, and old

He whispered in from the night
and left without a trace
Evil feared him, Demons ran
Yet his heart was childlike

He missed his kind
For he was the last
Memories flooded back
The battle within, he closed his eyes

Below him was Evil
The Horde had returned
He took a deep breath and smiled
Death from Above.
“Part 2”
East End of Montreal
“The Cavern”
Home of the “Valhalla’s Warriors”
          Jacques “The Pick” LaChappel sat at his favorite table in the Cavern. The Cavern was the Warriors hang out bar. Their numbers had dwindled over that past few years due to the “Biker Wars.” Many had died from stabbings and gunshot wounds, but it was the other deaths that troubled LaChappel the most. Someone or something new arrived in the in East End.
            There was always war along the fringe, a mutual assigned border between the Warriors in the east and the Mob to the north. The Irish to the west didn’t care much as long as these 2 enemies eliminated each other. The fringe was basically an old abandoned railway yard. At times it was called The Dumping Ground.
            But 2 nights ago, neither Mob nor Warrior had every killed that way. The closest he had ever heard of this was from his old friend Mack Delaney, who was up on some stupid mountain trip he thought and smiled. He had left word with the Doc a few days ago that he need the talk to the Englishmen. Mack had told him stories of killings in Albania and Serbia, when Mack was still in the Military.

            He remembered growing up with Mack as kids, playing hockey in the streets of The Gardens, then as teenagers they would grew apart, Lachappel to lead Valhalla’s Warriors and Delaney to join the most elite group his military offered. From time to time they would still see each at the Cavern to share info when needed and maybe catch the game. There next meeting would be different. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

“Part 1”

            I take a breath of air, fresh air, really for the first time, in a very long time. The moon shines from the north, near my mountain. Somewhere, but not too far, the sounds of the stream. An owl hoot breaks my concentration, but it was needed. My mind had drifted back to why I changed my life completely around to this self-imposed exile on my mountain.  The accident? Or was it?
            A tear appears, but is replaced by anger and questions. I don’t cry much anymore, seems there all gone or used up now. I call it, dry crying. I don’t sleep much anymore, if I get 3 or 5 hours a night I consider that a victory. I smell the coffee brewing and know what I must do today. Doc should be here in a few hours. Simon is not a traditional doctor, but I’ll get into later. Jockstrap makes an appearance, my faithful Irish wolfhound. I look down thinking what I and old Jockstrap have done together, and smile, but shiver also.

            There will be much planning today and I knew Jockstrap sensed my feelings. My quiet is broken by thunder. “A storm is coming old buddy.” I smile to myself thinking in more ways than one. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

"Whiter Shade of Pale"


                          Vietnam was raging in South East Asia, and I remember the limited nightly news casts. I was of 9 years years of age with dreams of playing professional hockey and being a boxer. I had yet to taste love except for ice cream and my mustang bike equipped with banana seat and sissy bar. My mom weeped with the prospect of my brother's draft number being called, so his dumb ass drove across the border to Plattsburgh, New York to sign up. Being of an American dad us half crazy Canadians could do that. Montreal was about 90 minutes away. Joe Namath would lead the Jets to an amazing Super Bowl win over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, yes they were in Baltimore then. I would think most of you hadn't taken your first breath of fresh air yet. "The crowd called out for more" and I wish I knew what the hell a Whiter Shade a Pale meant back then, I do now, but I thought it was cool...

Friday, October 16, 2015

                              "The Mountains"

I would love to live in the mountains, all quiet, mostly with someone I think, but that depends too. I open the door and the sun has yet to raise, a mist, almost fog like hangs on the ground. There are noises, but ones I have to strain to hear. There is a chill, but the warmth of my coffee mug extinguishes it quickly. I smell breakfast being made and it makes me smile. The thud of a big pine cone hits the ground.                  
I take a deep breath and wonder what I should do today. A hike to that hill I noticed the other day that looked promising, or perhaps a trout from the river nearby. My ears have a slight pain from hearing nothing if that's possible, and at that moment I wonder why I hadn't done this earlier. I also wonder that the person cooking inside is someone I miss, someone who makes me smile during sadness and makes my eyes sparkle with thoughts not suited for this post (lol). Wow I just realized this could be a short story and one that would be fun to write.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

“My Life the YoYo”

              I have told many stories of my life on my Blog, from being born in Montreal, to moving to Texas about 25 years later, to marriage and prison, and getting out and starting a new life. Well a few days ago another challenge was thrust at me and I have to start over again. I will not bore you with the details nor ask or seek pity. I have always believed that the events in our life are a direct result from past events in which we ourselves put in motion. Have I total confused you now, because I think I have? Lately my mind has been racing at top speed, no time to really think of what direction I wish to go or should go.
            In saying all this it is not the end of the world. I have been through a lot worse than this little hiccup. It just came as a shock and one that at my age did not see coming. Many of you if not all are going through so much more than I am. I spent 10 years in TDC, not called TDCJ from 2001-2011. Even then it was called TDCJ, but most of us including the guards still called it good old TDC. I have been writing my Blog for over 2 years now and have countless prison stories within it. I have mostly positive response from my ramblings and have been encouraged to fight the good fight.
            Somewhere along the way I have strayed away from you all and my Blog. I think a big part was because I had no wish to go back down that road. I had no desire to relive my past behind bars, within a cage made of concrete and steel. I had a new life and wanted to bury that old one deep somewhere to be never uncovered. Something has uncovered in in the last few days and I have had a rush of confusion and frustration descend upon me again. I have said many time my humble little words were spoken with the most truth based on my own experiences in TDC in my 10 years.
            I cannot speak for others or there time. I cannot speak of Federal time for I have never done any. I know some bits and pieces of Fed Time, but that’s about it. I do know that prison sucks, not only for the inmate but mostly for their loved ones awaiting release or at least a positive parole decision. You see us inmates do out time and are really oblivious to what’s going on outside the walls. We may write letters and make phone calls, we have visits, but a lot is lost in the way words are said or written. Some feelings are hidden to make matters better. Why make someone worry when really nothing can be done about it.
            Inside I never had to worry about bills being paid or a sick child crawling in bed in the middle of the night. You all did and still do. I’m not saying we on the inside don’t worry, trust me I was ate up with guilt every day and still am. I knew many men inside that had the very same feelings. We talked about it almost daily. We talked of our part lives, dreams, and hopes. We spoke of loved ones and times we spent together. We talked of cooking and beaches, or camping and road trips. We spoke of baby’s first steps and first days at school.
            See society for the most part want the average “Law abiding person” to think we are all evil with no redeeming value at all. We have wronged the world and should be punish to the upmost no matter the crime or circumstances. There was a lot of guys inside who were just caught up in the moment or wrong people for whatever reason. There are many inside who are bad people, and living with some over 10 years they would continue to be bad people upon release. A few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us.
            In my eyes it is you “The Loved Ones” who suffer the most, the ones who cry oceans of tears, the ones who sleep alone remember a better time. You all get up and dress kids for school, we all get ready for work, we all pay bills and manage tonight’s supper the best you can with what you got. You are called names by family and friends for sticking with someone you love. There are times, and I’ll be honest, I don’t get it. Why you stay especially knowing they may never come home or anytime soon.

            Maybe because mine didn’t and I respected her for that decision. The word hero means so much too so many. Sports players are considered hero’s for scoring the winning touchdown or hitting the winning home run. People in the military, and rightly so are heroes, EMT’s and for the most part police officers can be heroes, firefighters and so many more. But whoever says or stands up for you all? The mothers, wives, sisters, and grandmothers. I thought about this a few years ago how much you all are really the true heroes. I have said this many times before in my Blog so I hope I’m not boring some of you with this. Stay Strong, Stay your Course, you all Rock..

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Makes Sense?

            Time after time I have asked myself, and at times others what makes us say the things we say. Is it some profound thought that just appears in ones head, is it a lighting bolt of genius that makes us think "Wow this is good". Or is is just luck that it all comes together with a vivid imagination? I have said theses so deep at times I wonder "where the hell did that come from". 
             One that came to mind the other day was "True beauty is not seen, nor is it hidden, it just kinda hangs around and pops out once in awhile letting you know it is still around" Beauty can be looks of course but it can also be something we can not see. Caring, loving, respect are acts that have a beauty about them that makes the person even more attractive. 
             I have met many women in my life time who were truly beautiful, not pretty or cute, but drop dead beautiful. There are those who try to show it and those who don't. There are those that can be beautiful without really trying, and others who are, but try to much. 
             I'm not really sure what i'm trying to get at with the post except I felt like writing, if indeed this is called writing.
  


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“Who’s Watching My Back”

Whoever notices that while doing good things, or what we perceive as good things, we dig ourselves deeper in that hole? Think of your in a 6 foot deep hole digging out and you shovel the dirt behind your back, yes the hole seems to be getting deeper, yet at times not. Without noticing, there appears to be fresh dirt falling back in the hole. Is it sliding back on its own? Is it being pushed back but someone unseen? Or is it just new dirt coming from somewhere unknown?
You look around and notice you are alone with just your thoughts and imaginations. At times we are our worse enemy based on thinking and over analyzing situations too much. So we keep digging and working out problems with the hope they will go away on their own. The sweat pours down and we assume we are doing well, but are we really?
At times we must think “What is the real goal here, and how can I achieve that goal the best way possible”. Some situations will never change, I see it and know it. Events repeat itself for years and they will not change no matter what or how you thing a person has changed. The cycle continues regardless how hard we dig ourselves out of the hole. At time we need to just give up and change the hole we dig, or even better, a hole that needs no digging.
I have been on Facebook for about 3 years now after my 10 year prison sentence, and I see posts that mirror the exact same post from the exact same people years ago? Is it because some people hope for a different outcome although nothing really has changed? Is it because the fear thinking something will change? I am no expert in relationships or feelings, hell I’m quite the exact opposite. But I can be brutally honest at times and speak what it is on my mind and in my heart.

Some of you will read this and like this post, some will not, and take it the wrong way, some will ignore it and think “it’s not directed at me because I have all my dirt washed away”. My meaning I guess is nothing will change unless you want it to change. Nothing will get better unless you seek to get better. Believe me I know. I’m just a regular guy with tons of dirt that I keep digging out of my hole. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"The Magic in making Someone Smile"

           I have been told I have a "gift" with words and or writing, that I should be published, that "I would buy your book". This may sound hooky but my main goal would not be to make money, it would be to be listened too, to be thought of, to make someone think and hopefully smile. To make someone forget about past pain and the dreams of a new future. 
           I have said in other posts that words are in fact only words that aligned in a certain way give meaning. From the poorest poor to richest rich, from the highest IQ, to the lowest, we all use the same words do we not? I may write a post and have a few hundred read it, a few likes and comments, yet it will effect everyone different. For some it hits home harder than others. I crave not attention or feed off "Likes". There will always be those who like or hate my stuff.
           I am no one special and writing at times comes easy, and other times I struggle with the first sentence. I write from the heart and soul, I try to speak the truth as I saw it or see it. I speak of past experiences and loves, I speak of hope and dreams, and of regrets I have with decisions I have made that effected so many. On my Blog I have wrote of prison and my life in and out of those walls. I have touched on my childhood in Canada, and later years in Texas. 
           I have talked on my days on the run and the lack of "Hollywood" fun that leads too. The fear of every knock on the door, or headlight shining through the windows. The eyes scanning all cars around me looking for the Cherry Top. The relief of finally getting caught and the beginning of 10 long years away from family and friends, away for freedom, but as I have said in the past....of my own doing.
           Being honest it makes so much to me to make someone smile, to make someone laugh at one of my stupid lame posts or comments. Laughter and humor or without a doubt some of the strongest feelings one can give to another, especially when that person has not smile or laughed in a very long time. The ability to make someone forget, even for a moment what they are going through is indeed a gift.
           Since my release from prison I have tried to be a better person than before, but I really think I am the same person. I can be nice and I can be a butt head. I was funny before and even funnier now (lol) see. Being in prison for 10 years was very educational. I learned to live with all men and their personalities. All colors and sizes, all types of crimes and intellect. For the most part TDC (TDCJ) tries to house you with another inmate of comparable size and age.
           I was able to make a lot of the guys smile and laugh and maybe forget where they were for a few minutes. I have gotten so many 'Who cares about you or your story, your a convict". Yes true I am and will always be regardless of me being free now. I have nothing really to say to those people because I don't know there story. They or a loved one could have been a victim of crime and I do not blame them for their feelings toward me or other inmates.
         I don't even label them as haters anymore, we are all free to pick and chose our friends. I have always said "Hate me, not my loved ones" What I mean is I did the crime, not my family. Don't judge them for the actions of others. I know without asking that many of you have felt or heard the "Her man/father/brother/son" is in prison. I tend to always put things in a man in prison world, but all this applies to women in prison too of course.
          I am guilty of that as well at times with some of you. What I mean is I will ask or question "How can you love or stay with someone you may not ever see again" and in some cases have never seen once in the freeworld? I guess I don't understand that, but hell i'm just a stupid male ex-convict right....lol. I'm sure a lot of you may have questioned yourself in your decisions too, making it harder when a stranger questions them too.
          I have said many many times to stay strong and stay your course what ever that course be. Also in saying that at anytime you decide to change your mind or let go you should not be faulted either. I for one would never blame you. You have the right to be "free" or lead a better life if that is what you chose or think is a better life. Stay true to yourself and that is all you can ask. Think of your children if they are involved in the decision too.
          There have been times I love to stir the pot so to speak. What I mean is not to be ugly, but make you think about what you are doing. I have lived with some of the worse human beings for those 10 years and wouldn't want to know them in the freeworld. There are some really bad people in prison that need to stay there, and there are plenty of good guys that made that one mistake that is costing them and loved ones time now.
          Some of the guys I met inside were truly sorry for their actions while others talked of crime when they got out. I always thought that there were many who felt at home in prison. The violence runs rampant in prison and for the most part it was us doing it to each other. At times I think back and feel it hard to actually realize I spent 10 years of my life locked for the most part in a 8 foot by 10 foot box. Wearing the same clothes and eating the same food for over 3600 days and nights.
          I may not be smarter now than when I walk in those gates, but I have become much wiser, and see things differently. I was at a doctor's appointment about a week ago and realized I had to open the door to my room, even slightly. Have I become claustrophobic? or was it the walls felt like home, but I needed to just be able to crack the door open. You see when I sleep in my bedroom I close my door and that doesn't bother me.
          I like to make people smile and laugh and I hope I can do that with many of you. I try not to be ugly or mean, but honestly that is who I am, i'm open and honest. At times wanting to smack people to wake them up. Well as always please comment about any of my posts or Blog. Good or bad, positive or negative. I like them all...as always stay strong, stay your course and keep the faith as someone close to me use to say..
         
       
         

       
           

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I differ from many of you reading this and certainly from most not reading this. I have traveled a road few have and thankfully so. You have never lurked in the alleys of my mind. I never cried or whined about my sentence nor time, for I am truly guilty of the crime I was accused of. There are many you say the opposite knowing well they did do the crime. Sometimes I wonder how many of us/them, got away with other crimes and maybe this is just a catching up or Karma thing. All I know is my crime effected so many that were innocent of what I did, meaning family and loved ones who suffered more than I did those 10 years. At times still to this day I hear the metal on metal slamming of doors and keys. I hear the screams in the middle of the night and smell the violence. I see fear on the faces of those I shared time with and the hidden tears in their eyes. I see hope at mail call and frustration during store day. I regret so much the time I lost with my children, time I will never get back. There are times I think back about those 10 years and still can't believe the things I witnessed and did to survive. I lost so much faith in humanity during those 10 years and to this day still have not found things I once had and or took for granted. Today I feel the urge to share and may do just that. Not because I need it as much as I would hope I can help someone going through what I have gone through, but more importantly what you all on the outside are going through..

Saturday, May 30, 2015

         Another Random Philip Thought.....Some roads are long and winding, some good, some bad....but all 
have to be traveled. Try to stay positive on your road, 
eliminate negativity and feed yourself with 
positive thoughts.
     Dwell not on the past with things we can not change, learn from them and get back on your road....open the windows and let the wind hit your face and smile.....you all deserve that much.



Friday, May 29, 2015

                  Another thought from Phil (lol) Staying Strong sounds 

so easy for some and yet so hard for so many others...You 

ever think how easy it is to say something and actually live 

by it. To listen to others who have never walked in your 

shoes or faced the same circumstances. To listen to advice 

from someone who has never dug your ditch or cooked your 

meal, changed your babies diaper or payed a late due bill? 

Pay heed to those giving advice that have yet to make your 

bed. 

                 
         It is all fine and dandy and for some it does help, the 

prayers and thoughts, but mostly in the end it is you who 

crawls into bed alone and wakes in the middle of the night 

wondering and worrying....Stay Strong yes, but stay your 

course and do not bury yourself with things you can not 

change or decide today. There is a very old saying by 

Rudyard Kipley (Jungle Book) that goes something like this 

"The strength of the wolf is in the pack, and the strength of 

the pack is in the wolf" you all are so much alike , you need 

each other to Stay Strong, and this group will Stay Strong 

because of each of you...


If I can bore you all, with a little story about your favorite "Me". I am by no way a real good or perfect person, but I know what is right and wrong. In saying that, yes I committed a crime and spent 10 years of my life behind bars (2001-2011) in many Maximum Security prison in Texas.
I saw many many men at there very worse, and a few at there best in an ugly situation. We do things that we would not normally do based on unpredictable circumstances, some of out of own doing and some that is thrust upon us. I never blamed anyone for my life.
Not my Mom nor Dad, no the government or president, not lack of jobs or a woman. It's too easy to do that. We look back and most of us if honest would change not something, but many things. There is a cycle in life that if we "choose" to live within it, will never change and sadly most of us realize that but still roll the dice one more time hoping for a different out come. We hope "this time will be different" and in most cases it's a broken record repeating what happened at an earlier time. I may have no right to say that or any of this, again who the hell am I to talk...I'm a loser and ex-con right? I do believe in the old way, the old way of fighting for what's yours and loving the people in your life. Yes I am old fashion still, A 56 year old caught in a 1500 year old Viking Type (lol) body. I was taught to honor and respect women as an equal and not a second class person I got into so many arguments in prison over just that. There should never be a reason to strike a woman unless protecting your young or if your life is in danger, it is easy to always just walk away. And trust me I have been but in many situations where I could have easily hit a female. Here come the hardest part to say and for some to understand. Once the cycle of violence has started, it is very easy to continue and in most cases will never stop until something real bad happens. I have know women in my life for many years, a few over 30 who continue to marry/date/see the same type guy. The names and looks change but it is the same guy. In some cases the same applies for men with women. The cycle knows no sex or age, no color or religion, wealth or poverty makes no difference either. I am no expert and quite never practice what I preach, but I have never hit a woman. I think once that happens, both parties can never truly live the same again. One will live in fear, while the other in control. Most of you I believe are great women who just want a chance in life to live. I truly hope you all find true love and bask in it's sunlight forever I had true love once and there was nothing better than that. The pit in one's stomach awaiting the drive home, to be with that one special person. To share a drink or a meal, to hold a hand or spoon at night. I think true love is not even trying, but letting it just happen and evolve. Some of you will read this and "like" it, some will comment good and bad. Some will take this post wrong and say I don't know what i'm taking about or know their "man". All these points are true and valid. This post, if anything will make some of you just think.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

“My Life Is a Song, or so it seems”

            I have been writing on and off since my release from prison in 2011. Mostly in my Blog, with the exception of some hap hazard attempts at my fiction stories. Of course I wrote 1000’s of pages and notes in prison, but really didn't dive in head first until my release. There comes a time I have the urge while other times I just don’t have the “Flow” as I call it.
            I was thinking of how music has played a big part in my life, no I am not a musician or composer, yet I use lyrics and sounds to propel me into my words and sentences. I think most of us can relate to anyone one song good or bad. We say “That song was wrote for me”. It is because most of us go through similar situations in life. We/You/Me are not alone in this so called battle called life.
            We seek comfort in another’s arms, or a place, or even a bottle. We hope for a different outcome, but rarely does that happen. At times the cycle of life just spins and comes back the same. Maybe we need to change the cycle, the wheel, and the events that lead to whatever the outcome usually is. For some that is very hard for they do not have the means to just get up and leave or change life styles. So we wake each morning hoping for change, a difference, a knight in shining amour.
            My rescue has always been music and now writing. I have this thing that I do where I do not listen to depressing music anymore. What I mean is a song that brings back bad or sad memories. No I am not hiding from my past I just wish to not visit it anymore because it will not do any good or change anything. I listen to songs that lift my spirit and not drown it with tears.
            I know for some of you that will be hard, some of you wish to remember days gone by with memories of your loved one. I’m no expert and by no means special or even know what the hell I’m talking about most of the time. I have always spoke from my heart and soul. I have never tried purposely to hurt anyone, but I do have a way of speaking my mind at time do just that.
            All of us cannot change our past even through music, we can dictate out present as best we can and ultimately that will change your future. Our lives are full of daily challenges that at times seem unfair or overwhelming, but we must stay the course. If not we dig a hole deeper than before with no way out. These words are so simple for me to say and write down, but believe me I have been as low as a person can get and I have climbed out of my abyss.
            I am ashamed to admit I had thought many times while on the run from the law to end my life with a simple pull of a trigger. I now know why some people do commit suicide. I was so close on a few occasions and for some reason could not. I miss my old life but know it will never come back. All the music in the world will not return me to 1999. I’m much stronger today then I was yesterday, and each day gets better.
            For you mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters of loved ones behind bars find something to remember them, but also something that makes you smile or hopefully laugh. Try not to drown in memories that hurt as best as possible. I hope in some small way my writings of prison, my Blog on my time in prison, and my fiction stories I’m working on makes you alive again.

            I hope they make you understand, make you see what your loved one sees through my eyes and pages I post. I am no one special, I’m just an ordinary guy who may process a somewhat “gift” to ramble on his keyboard and reach out and touch even one of you. As always you are Rock, you all are the true Hero’s in this story. Tonight listen to someone uplifting, listen to something that makes you smile. Stay your course and be true to your heart and soul. Thank you all for giving me a few more minutes of your lives today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

“Bricks in My Wall”

            At times I have thought so much about all the cells, holding tanks and dayrooms I have wasted so many hours that I will never get back. Was it really a waste? Was it all in my mind? Was it a game we played with each other and the system to make the hours and days pass? I truly believe in those 10 years in prison (TDC or TDCJ) my mind was stronger or at least stronger than it has been at any time in my life. Sadly it had to be or I may not have survived.
            See. We in prison are kinda oblivious to you all in the “Freeworld” at times, yes we know you all and love you, but at times we try to put you on the back burner in order to think clearly and act smart in certain situations. We hide fear, we hide love, and we hide feelings, because that could be taken as weakness. Wow that sounds crazy doesn’t it. Fellow inmates tend to prey on some who show “weakness”.
            So we mask our feelings and read our letters in private and see through the words and imagine a time long forgotten. We think of days gone by and hope for more days in the future. We smile and maybe laugh to ourselves and for the most part most of the guys sense this and leave you be to those precious sheets of paper. After all most, yes most of us are still human.
            We did share with each other the joys of our children exploits and grandchildren’s births. We told of memories long ago as if they happened yesterday. For the most part we loved to share those stories as it brought us closer to our own families. The names and places may change, but we all could relate. Recently I posted a picture of a one man cell and thought “man god that is small”, but going back 3 years after my release, that cell was as small as I made it.
            Sounds simply doesn’t it, but we all inside did that. We tried to make the most out of a terrible situation. Nothing would change overnight so why “Go Crazy”. I ask each and every one of you reading my simple post tonight to be “Bricks in their Wall”. What I mean is most cells are 8 feet by 10 feet. Take a measuring tape right now and somewhere in your home measure that off.
            Place items in each corner and get comfortable, but not too much. If possible place a bed if not already in your space. Place maybe a chair and small table. Close your eyes and you are with your son or husband, your father, brother or grandfather, mother or wife, daughter or sister. This applies to both sexes of course. Most of my posts of female oriented but apply for both.
            You are beside them, you are bricks in their walls. Try for as long as possible to not leave that space, try to relax and not hyperventilate as I did many times. Trust me it will get better. They/we/us were and are stronger than you think, we are and will survive. It will be hard and as a roller coaster there will be many peaks and valleys. Write them as much as possible, talk to them on the phone as positive as possible, but tell them things they need to know.

            The strength of your wall is within each and every brick, take one away and it crumbles, together they stay strong. Be their brick when needed as they are your brick too. We build walls between each other for many reasons, some good some not so good. We protect others by building walls. Be honest and open with your loved one, as always stay strong and stay your course whatever that may be. I will never judge you….You all Rock…

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“Chance Encounter” (part 2)
           
            I glanced back at her business card one more time, “Bad Apple” what the hell does that have to do with a sports bar I thought again. Was she from New York? Was she just a bad apple? One way or the other I was on the case, and I’m not even a cop. Here I was a pretty good looking guy, successful, 44 years old and my stomach was in knots. I smiled to myself at the little autograph I had just handed her son. “To Mommy, from Jake Rutland, your biggest fan”. I wondered what she would think of that. Who was the fan of who…I’m so clever at times?
            I looked over at her table where she had sat and wished she was still there, wished we had more time. I stole a glance at the corner where she and her son had disappeared hoping to see her appear. I took a big breath and order a drink, my next move would need courage. I loved sports and this being summer I was sure a ball game would be on, and I had just the right place to watch. Looking again at my laptop and noticing that I had accomplished absolutely nothing today, but fall in love I decided to Google “The Bad Apple”
            Seems to be a hot spot for tourists and people on the go. Whatever the hell that means. I always thought if you’re on the go why would you sit in a bar or restaurant? Reviews talked of great foods and drinks. I suddenly had a craving for a ginger ale and Poutine. For those of you who are not familiar with Poutine, it’s a Quebecois favorite. French fries and brown gravy mixed with curds of cheese. I looked at the directions and map and knew it was only a few miles from where I sat, my stomach twisted.

            Get a grip Jake I thought. I closed my laptop and walked over to a taxi stand, ok I’m lazy, but rich and famous people don’t walk? Do we? Was I even in those categories? The cab pulled out and away we went for my chance encounter with a Goddess. I looked at her business card again and realized there was no name. Just “The Bad Apple” address and phone number. We pulled up to a building that looked to be 200 years old made of huge stones. Thoughts of a castle or fortress came to mind. In front, windows that must have been in 25 foot sections greeted me. My heart raced.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Just Words, Right?
           
            In my 56 years of life I have been asked many questions, some easy, more hard. Doesn’t it amaze some of you that all answers are really just words combined together in such a way to give rhyme or reason and give those with no hope, hope? Interesting isn’t it. Words we all use every day, man, woman, and child, yet placed in a certain way and order and we feel so much better. There only words, aren’t they?
            We cling to words like its life’s elixir or our last breath, hoping to give us meaning in our life. Some of you may not admit that, but it is true. Some ask the question really knowing the answer, yet want another answer even if it isn’t true. Again some will disagree with me. We in general loved to be self-assured, we love to be vindicated in our choices right or wrong. We hate to be told “You screwed up”.
            We try to do what’s right even when we know it’s wrong, but we don’t want to be told that, do we. We learn from our mistakes or we hope to. At times listening is better than asking questions. There is a great book by Sun Tzu called “The Art of War” inside you will find some of the most amazing quotes that were written over 2000 years ago. A few of my favorites are “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”, another one and I paraphrase is “Fight your enemy where he is not”. Although these phrases were wrote more or less about war it still applies to everyday life.

            Pick your words wisely and with care, words can and do hurt. They last in us forever and never go away. They can eat at us like a cancer and consume us to do things we shouldn’t do. Words can be taken two ways and that is where the hurt or joy starts. There only words right? Built out of 26 letters in the alphabet, that is all. No more no less. Stay strong as always and more importantly stay your course.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

“A Mile in our Shoes”
            The above 5 words are so simple to write and sound so simple to say, yet too many they never really understand them or get it do they. See those of us who have spent time in jail or prison, or those of you who have had or still have a loved one inside get it. To the majority they don’t care and in some ways I see their point also. I know that may make some of you mad or upset but we are a minority to those that are “good”.
            We all strive to do the right thing and for the most part many succeed, while some seem destined to go back down that road of self-destruction, regardless of countless warnings from loved ones. That would be a very hard thing to accept. To tell a son, husband, father, brother, and of course this applies to women as well, but for the most part I address the men here. Only if I knew and understood what my actions really did to my loved ones.
            Going back to those that really don’t see or walk in our shoes don’t blame or hate on them. For the most part they may have been a victim of crime and see us as all the same. Again I cannot blame them for that. There is good and bad in all aspects of life. There are those who have no one inside yet pick up the flag and banner for their cause. There are those that hide behind pearly gates and refused to think that anyone in jail or prison can be just a person who got caught up in something.
            There are many inside who cry “I was framed or not guilty” some are telling the truth while many more or not. In prison I helped some by going to the law library and filing rites and motions for them. After reading the court transcripts or lack of I was astonished to think they thought they were innocent. Many may not be guilty of this or that crime, but never were caught for so many other crimes. So in a way is it karma that finally caught them?
            The bottom line is you my readers today who suffer the blunt of all this. The stares and whispers from those who shun those inside. It is not your fault for our/mine/their actions. Yes it can be said or argued that some of you may have had “something” to do with it but for the most part I and them should and will be held accountable for our actions. Society in whole has always looked down on inmates no matter the crime or facts.
            Some laws are picky and unjust but they are still the law, and most know that going in. Like the old saying “You sleep with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas”, or “Where there is smoke, there usually is fire”. What I mean is for the most part there is a pattern of behavior with some regardless of the love they receive. You can blame it on up bringing or society, or the government, or the Dallas Cowboys losing (sorry had to put that in there), but all in all we have to man up and face the consequences of our actions.
            Sadly it is you, all the loved ones who suffer most. Many of you ever Saturday and Sunday make the pilgrimage to the various units to spend a few hours with someone who has or still is breaking your hearts. You try to put up a brave face and swallow tears. Words are spoken, but some are not for whatever reason. You leave with an empty feeling and hungry for more. You spend money needed for other things on gas to share a few hours with someone who means so much to you and for that you all are truly the Hero’s.
            You are the silent unknown victim in all this. The mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, sisters and so many more. The ones who hurt the most are the kids who can’t or won’t understand why daddy or mommy isn’t coming home tonight. You shield them from your pain because your love for them is unmeasurable. You put on a brave front and smile, while your heart breaks. To me that is strength that if contained or bottled would end any war.
            At times I am at a loss for words to try to explain what I felt and can hopefully turn that into something all of you can relate too. Better is something you can use to help yourself. I’m no one special at all, I guess I have a talent to express my heart and soul on paper and share it with you. I post my writings on my Blog and of course on various groups. At times I may even post on my regular Facebook page. Some of the remarks I get are comical at times “Wow you were in prison? You don’t seem the type or a bad guy”. A smile breaks across my face and really never respond.
            My point I guess is society has judged me forever for what I did in a 2 minute span, my whole life and all the things I did which I could consider good was thrown out the window for 2 minutes of stupid actions. Yes I did do my crime, I was guilty and paid the price which I should have, no crying or belly aching. But in saying that here I will get messages from some saying I’m doing just that or who cares.

            I will never win many fans for my actions, and to be honest I don’t care anymore. I can only do what I can and keep up the good fight and stay my course. Same goes for all of you, stay your course, ignore ignorant people, and listen to your heart, mind, and soul. Some care, more don’t……oh well. In Canadian fashion we had a saying for those who are like that “Get Bent” with a smile of course. You guys Rock and keep it up….Till we meet again.