Where Do the Words Go?

Along the Way

Experiences, Insights & Humor on the “Long Road Home”

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Rummaging Around in My Head – Just a minute ago I’m laying down with the earplugs in, under the blankets all toasty warm and comfy but I am not at rest, “Artists Workshop.” I don’t know what’s going on but I’m sure as heck gonna try to get over it. See, I was given my date to go home the other day, Monday to be exact. Well, Monday I was told the date, not that I go home on a Monday. Actually I go on a Wednesday, I think, August 31st, 2022, but that’s not what this is about.

Ok, it kinda is. Here’s the skinny, I have not been able to come up with any dang story ideas and I have not been able to have 15 minutes thought without my mind going back to: I AM GOING HOME! I need to be ready and I’m really not, or at least not as ready as I could be if I could get the things I “think” I need.

I’m trying to finagle some classified ads from any decent sized city’s newspaper. I want to start being aware of what things cost, or at least my two big worries – a laptop computer and a phone – just so I’ll know what I will be looking at spending. I don’t have any money to speak of, and the little I have been able to save is going to have to be enough to get me started in life again.

Then there are the other huge anxiety monsters for me, second only to the phone worry and the computer worry. They are the vehicle worry and then the housing worry, but I am going to a halfway house where they will supposedly be able to help me, but then again I don’t know how or even what kind of help they can provide other than I will need to get a job.

But there’s another worry monster, what the heck can I do and will anyone hire me to do it?  Let’s face it, this chassis of mine will be 62 years old and the body is kind of dinged up with a few medical speedbumps to slow down my roll. So I’ve got to wonder if I’ll be successful in getting on social security disability.

Now having said all this, I want to know why I can’t seem to focus on any story. Heck, I haven’t seen Booger in weeks and I haven’t had a real solid song run thru my mind in months. So, where DO the words go? Is there like some sort of hang out for them too all go and chill while I’m on this stress mess rollercoaster?

Is it because I know now the exact day and date on which I will be sent out the door into a world unknown to me that has me twisted? Or is it the fact that I can’t count on anyone other than one person in my life? (I know ya got me Sings and I appreciate it.) Or is it the fact that there is just so much I don’t know vvvcc?

Everyone tells me it’s a whole new world and I get that part, but it’s the part where they just set you in it and walk off that has me all stressed and yes, all the platitudes apply: I’ll be fine, I’ll figure it out, it won’t take long, don’t worry…blah-blah. And while I appreciate everyone’s confidence in me to successfully navigate the ocean of it all in an inflatable canoe, I have to honestly appraise and consider my precarious position.

I mean, if I’m so overwhelmed now that I’m tripping, what’s going to happen to me when I’m in the middle of it? Will I cower in a corner of the bus station and tremble amid the masses? Will I be able to figure out how to activate the stupid card they are going to give me with all my funds on it? And what do I do when people ask me why I don’t know how to do this or that? I am not into the shades of truth, do I tell them I just walked out of a federal prison and that I am really freaking out on the inside while keeping a stoic face to the world on the outside? 

Ok, enough of the ramble, my original thought was, where the heck do the words go? I know they are there lurking inside and I know I want to talk about the things that matter to me if no one else. It’s about my worries and it’s all part of the cleansing after all these years. So please, pay attention and try to at least act like you understand my dilemma. Smile.

Really, why has stress and worry over all the things I have no control over become a problem? Could it be the simple fact that I don’t have control over them that is the problem? Is the solution as simple as me finally saying and meaning, “So what, I’ll figure it out?” YES, In fact that’s the one thing I had better try that I haven’t!

So, from this second on, I refuse to trip on what hasn’t come yet and the things I “might” have to face. I will burn that bridge when I cross it. That way I won’t have to go back in retreat. Never surrender and never retreat. Hey look! The words are back!

Moonshine So Fine

Now my people been in these hills for a long, long time,
always been our way to make the finest moonshine,
and the revenuer man says we’re bound to get caught,
 but we never have thought about that, no, not a bit at all.

Moonshine so fine,
So fine that sweet moonshine...

Well my grandad’s grandad hit these mountains, after the 1st world war,
he raised his family and some profits off the things that he would grow,
and a little extra something from his corn whiskey in a jar,
and him and his friends would sit  strummin’ on those ole flat top guitars, singin,

Moon shine so fine, 
oh so fine sweet moonshine...

Things have come a long ways and changed up quite these days
with the hydro's and the oxy's and that purple haze,
but things in these ole hills will always stay the same, 
where a man's as good as his shine and his shine's his claim to fame, singin’ 

Moonshine so fine, 
So fine sweet moonshine....

It's true! The words are back...smile.

© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher, 2021

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder well into my eighties. I have lived an ordinary life doing all the ordinary things expected of women of my generation. But through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I have long had a strong interest in writing and genealogy with a special interest in Southeastern Creek Indian history and culture. In my golden years, just when I was thinking “retirement,” some unexpected things happened that led me down a totally unfamiliar path. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the challenges to come. My journey – indeed my calling – led me to a remarkable man, a Mvskoke & Ani-yun-wiya known as Ghost Dancer, hidden away for decades behind bars in state and federal prisons. Communicating daily by e-mail for the next nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost Dancer discussing many common interests with candor and respect. Most remarkable to me was Ghost’s absolute dedication to his spiritual leadership role within the Native population. With loving kindness at all times, Ghost shared many of his teachings, including lessons from within the sacred sweat lodge. A full index to Ghost's shared teachings can be found at GHOST DANCER'S SACRED PATH. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his personal life story in small bits, like pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now with his health a shambles, Ghost Dancer is at last free and has begun putting those pieces together; he wants the world to know the whole truth of his amazing personal journey in the chapters of his book in progress, ALL FOR THE RIGHT TO PRAY. As his friend and editor on JOURNEYS OF THE SPIRIT, I can say this is indeed a story so big that even after these many years, I continue to be astonished as Ghost reveals new details of his solitary walk on the Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving, gifted child, he felt a strong bond with his cultural heritage in a world where family loyalty was a sacred trust and Native roots were kept secret. As a result the callow youth endured many heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. As a young teen, Ghost heeded the call to learn from the great Native spiritual leaders gathered at Wounded Knee. The influence of the elders and spiritual leaders on his young mind was profound but the political conflicts of the moment ultimately cast this loyal young boy as a target of a system determined to destroy him by any means. For the next 40 years in and out of prison, Ghost would struggle to remain true to his calling both as a teacher and an activist fighting for the religious rights of Native Americans. (Note: Currently Ghost is focused on things he must do to regain his health and has put writing the final chapters about the the wrongful convictions that put him in federal prison for the past 28 years on hold. He still has dreams for the future so he will be back!) Ghost Dancer would later introduce me to Walks On The Grass, one of his spiritual brothers and another federal prisoner. Walks’ story on JOURNEYS OF THE SPIRIT is totally compelling, though very different. In LONG ROAD HOME, Walks has shared his decades-long spiritual journey from deep addiction to wholeness. He follows up with ALONG THE WAY and finally, LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE as he prepares emotionally and mentally to transition to life outside after 37 years of incarceration.

One thought on “Where Do the Words Go?

  1. You can get rebuilt computers and phones really inexpensively from Walmart. I think that Amazon is beginning to do that too. Desktops, which are much more powerful that laptops are now cheaper than laptops, because they are easier to repair.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: