What is Freedom?

Lessons From the Sacred Inipi(16)

By Ghost Dancer

Ghost Dancer

Talladega Prison, November 25, 2019 – We didn’t have any good wood for our sweat on Thursday; just busted up pieces of wooden pallets. We need real firewood to heat the rocks up hot enough. I believe things happen for a reason, so there was a reason it was not hot and I accept that. But I will also try to get the chaplain to get us real firewood and quit trying to penny pinch and not provide what we need.

We had a good ceremony anyway and I’m so thankful that we were able to.  For the guys to all be there always makes a good ceremony and a good day. That is why I stay so happy. Every day is new, and I am a newborn child every day I wake up. What happened yesterday is gone and what matters is I have today to live. I can’t worry about tomorrow. Only Spirit knows if I have tomorrow to live,  so many people stress about tomorrow or even months ahead. This is useless; it only causes the person to have mental and physical problems.

People always ask me, don’t you think about being free. I am free spiritually every day and every moment. My spirit and my mind, no one can imprison or take away from me.  I see and hear how people are outside these walls and how they live. So many are in a prison they can’t get out of more than I have ever been. Trapped by all the illusions in their life; all their worries and doubts and fears. Me, I live one day at a time and I live it the best that I can.

I know many people consider me weird or even crazy. That is their prerogative. I’m different than others; well I believe we all should be different. Same as every flower, tree, plant, fish, animal, bird and all life is, just as our personalities are different. This is what makes life so interesting and so beautiful too. Some folks seem like vampires. They suck the energy and life out those around them with their negative force. This makes people feel the ugliness. Life is beautiful, we all are beautiful, if we chose to be. I don’t have to be young or handsome to be beautiful, I am what I feel and what is in me. A reflection of my spirit and my heart.

I can be overweight, I can be bald, or have scars on my body. Still I can be beautiful. This goes for every single person. Too many folks get caught up in what society says is beautiful. Looking a certain way does not make a thing or a person beautiful. It is the spirit and heart of anything or anyone that makes it that way.  So this was the lesson of our sweat. Ghost

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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