Keeping the Faith

Along the Way. . .

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

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Creator, thank you for giving me another waking breath, thank you for looking over the ones that I love and those that need your help. I’m positive I’m one of them. Help me in understanding even when I don’t agree. Help me be kind even when I’m angry. And help me to continue to grow in my learning of your ways. Thank you for the air I breathe and the foods that I eat so I may do all these things. And thank you for coming to me, finding me, saving me, from the man that I was, and for making me grow into the man I want to become. All my relations…

This is how my day started, 4:49AM (I slept in cuz it’s the weekend). these are the words I utter in my mind as I look through the window into the darkness approaching the dawn, up to greet Sun Boy as he comes home from his evening hunt and lights the fire of a new day for Grandmother Moon to see to her affairs by.

But this morning was a bit different, just a hunch, a feeling, a stray thought, out of place in the context of my usual thoughts, like a brief glimpse out of the corner of the eye of an object moving fast thru the field of vision. Hhhmmmm… not exactly sure what it was but I was definitely aware. All my prison “Spidey senses” were in tune and firing, something was coming, what I ain’t sure of.

Now here it is 9:01am and it still ain’t come, but I’m none-the-less aware that today won’t be a usual Saturday. Maybe it’s just how my week has gone. Maybe it’s something I felt after conversations with certain people. Maybe it’s just me, but I know it’s something and I’m very intuitive about me. Smile. I know me like a well-read book – the secret me, the public me, and the persona me. It’s the deep inner me that says, “Watch out Walks.” Trouble is afoot, whether it be on a confrontational front, or just a simple person being as they usually are, woefully lacking in consciousness where others are concerned.

Some feeling says “beware” so I will gird my loins and try to keep to myself, reflective of my spirituality, stay humble and thankful for the things I do have and know, the ability to continue to grow and dodge all the rigamarole that I know is coming.

But think for a second, what do you need to look at on a daily basis in order to improve or stay the course? I bet it’s something, even the things we do need to look at or the little “self-talks” we have within our own heads. All those count and yes, I still hear the people who are beyond sorrow talk to me. I hear them in their own voices, my mom, my sister, my wife gone these 22 years now, so many things that make us/me tick. But all that says this: when ya  got a feeling, go with it, why not? It doesn’t cost anything to stay on point. Smile.

Maybe this was the thing that was nibbling on the fringes of my consciousness, that I needed to remind myself what matters most, what means the difference between me and was. I like me a hell of a lot better and I promise, so do you even if you don’t know it. I like me clean, unclouded, calm and rational – or at least my semblance of it. I know I’m convoluted, but hey, I’m working with it, so get over it… Smile.  

OK, here’s the AHA!!! moment… Ready?

Things happen that we can’t control at all times, so occasionally the mind throws a  “Danger Will Robinson! Danger” at us. And if you know what that means then you were as big a “Lost in Space” fan as I was as a kid.

So what does all this mean?  Well, I don’t think I’m sure, just that instead of getting all warped and bent about what I can’t control or change, I had better just stay with… THANK YOU CREATOR FOR GIVING ME ANOTHER DAY.

© Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher, December, 2021

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder in my 9th decade. I have lived an ordinary life, I’ve done all the ordinary and expected things, went to school, got married, raised a family, tried to be a good person. Throughout this life 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. Then in my golden years, as I sought to find meaning in my existence, some unexpected things happened and I’ve since learned it took a lifetime to prepare me for the challenge to come. My journey – indeed my calling - led me to come to know a remarkable man who happened to be an inmate in federal prison. Nothing could have been more foreign to my personal experience. GHOST DANCER Communicating daily for nearly nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost discussing our thoughts on many common interests with candor and respect. With enormous generosity Ghost has allowed me to share his wisdom and knowledge of his Native American heritage on Journeys of the Spirit. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his life story in small bits, like scrambled pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now, after spending more than 40 years in prison, Ghost Dancer is at last free and ready to tell his amazing personal story. As the saying goes, “you can’t make this stuff up” and as his friend and editor I can say this is a story so big that even after working with him for nearly nine years, I continue to be astonished as he shares new details my mind simply could never imagine. From the very first chapter, Ghost leads us on his journey and invites us to walk with him on his Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving gifted child, he endured heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. Through it all, Ghost fought a system determined to destroy him by any means, as he struggled to remain true to his calling. Through Ghost Dancer I also met and came to know Walks On The Grass, another federal prisoner whose story is also compelling even though very different. In Journeys of the Spirit, Walks has shared his decades-long journey from deep addiction to wholeness in LONG ROAD HOME and shared other bits of his story in ALONG THE WAY. Now as he approaches his August release into this crazy world of 2022 Walks shares his the thoughts and misgivings as he counts down to the big day in LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE.

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