Make Sense???

Lights In the Distance. . .

Walks’ Outdate – 89 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

On Monday, May 23, 2022, 10 days ago the guards came in around 8am and screamed LOCK DOWN!!! So I did what I always try to do, fired off a burst e-mail to Sings Many Songs telling her we were being locked down so somebody will have a clue. I didn’t know the reason then but it turns out someone in another unit had an “episode” on K-2, a very dangerous synthetic drug, and management here went ballistic.

So the day progressed and they sent in the shakedown squad. Everyone in that particular unit was strip searched, then the guards ran them outside to the rec yard to sit in the cage and wait while they shook down the unit looking for whatever contraband they could find, drugs, phones, or whatever they deemed to be contraband in that moment. As I have seen so often in these past decades they change what they want to take from day to day. What’s cool to have today may be contraband tomorrow and they confiscate pretty much anything they want.

Anyway, they spent around 6 hours this particular day in this particular unit looking for whatever and keeping the entire prison locked down. Then the next day more of the same; the entire prison stays on lockdown while they hit another unit. Same old song and dance, every day another unit, then finally it’s Friday before a holiday weekend and they decide they didn’t have time to do my unit, Gamma A, so they kept the entire prison locked down all weekend including Monday, Memorial Day. This means we got no holiday meal, no anything, we all just sat in our cells for an extra 3 days. We barely got showers all week and nobody got to go to commissary to stock up on food and necessities.

I don’t want to sound like a whiney baby but damn, this corporal punishment crap gets really old and I have something to say about it. Treating men this way – punishing all for the actions of a few – is in no way conducive to rehabilitation, but then again, maybe that’s the point. We are not meant to be rehabilitated by these people! No matter what the BOP public information propaganda says, they do not want us to get out and succeed. After all, if that were to happen and recidivism was to cease, then these foolish, sadistic morons would soon find themselves unemployed and they wouldn’t be able to afford the luxuries they have become accustomed to living on your tax dollar.

I guess that also includes the whole world would be shock. See the thing is, the prison system (prison industrial complex) has become the largest industry supporting the economy in the country. Take a minute and think about all this massive system supports. Consider the multi-million-dollar food budgets and all the community services prisons support including doctors, hotels, postal workers and guards, etc. etc. The expenditures of the prison into the economy is a billion-dollar industry, and as long as no one is looking or questioning the way they treat the inmates or the “overtime” they’ve just got to have over a major shakedown they must have they are going to keep on keeping on with the charade. Pitiful, the most corrupt of all.

I can’t remember who said it but one note of truth that always stuck with me in relation to the actions of my keepers: POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. So think about that while I go to my cell and make sure my sacred pipe and eagle feather were not desecrated by these goons during this charade. As for me, I’m chillin’… absolutely….

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.

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