It’s Funny

Lights In the Distance. . .

Walks’ Outdate – 68 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Yea, it’s funny how things turn out. See today I was in the midst of my daily call with the wonderful person “Sings Many Songs” and we were talking about the amount of credits I had on the computer to write with and all that she has there already to publish on a week by week basis.  She said she had a couple things “on deck” ready to go and I could just take time to think about my next “stroke of genius.” It occurred to me I never set out that way, I never think too hard about what is gonna find its way to the page after I have an idea or an “occurrence.” I just go ahead and get on it, letting it flesh itself out as it will or wants. Not by far would I ever claim to be a genius; hell my best ideas are maybe lucid and somewhat intelligent, but genius, I don’t see that.

Today I was able to get out to the bike again and one fact has made itself plainly clear, I will have to cut back on the distance from 10 miles a day to 5 miles; it’s just too darn hot and I ain’t gonna ride till I’m panting like an insane dog.  I just have to accept the fact that  I am at least doing something, even if it’s not a lot. Twenty five miles a week is a respectable amount for an old geezer like me. Smile. I’m happy with it and I’m gonna do all I can to keep it up, barring any lockdown, rec yard closings, or other delays or setbacks.

So there that is, but back to what I was talking about. Yea, I first started this at the coaxing of Sings after I was asked to write something for my brother Ghost. Writing down my story just kinda went from there taking a life and breath of its own and its gone from there to here. I believe that it has changed, meta morphed if you will. I also know that the heart and soul of it has never faltered. I’m trying to share who and what I am, how I feel, the recognition of the changes and evolution of my being. I’m trying to chronicle things that happen to me, how I feel about them and the impact of these feelings.

I think that the stories and things  I share are as pure as they can be, I just sit down and “let it go,” not trying to win a Pulitzer, not even trying to get anything out of it, but writing about my experiences has already paid me the richest dividend I can think of.  It has helped me share who I am and have become without having to face the world as I am doing it. See, I can always hit “save” and retreat to my cell where I know I’m all safe and sound, where I won’t have to face the things I write about.  

On the flipside, I have been able to make someone proud of me as well, and the mere fact that she tells me this from time to time is like a balm to my soul; it lifts me and assures me that I do indeed matter, that I do indeed have relevance in this world and that I am capable of being a person to respect and care for. My decades of captivity and selfish ignorance have stripped me of a lot of these things. When I started these writings and this reaching out to you, my self-respect started to grow in the process.

Writing out my story was not my idea, Sings Many Songs is the one responsible for putting it out in a format that others can see, read and think about. If it wasn’t for her, none of this would have ever seen the light of day. Let’s face it, I was not the least motivated to share with anyone the truth of all I’ve been thru in my life and what I’ve put my family and all those in my life thru. I didn’t think there was a forgiveness or a healing or a way anyone would understand.  I just kept on pushing along in my spirituality trying to immerse myself deeper and deeper into a spiritual existence and one of change and positivity. So there it is, but after all is said and done, it’s funny that the words just make their way here and what’s even funnier to me is that someone could care enough to read them, and of me.

All that’s left to say is, Thank You!!!

Editor’s Note: This piece was written before the recent lockdown Walks wrote about and I posted last week. The lockdown continues and as a result his whole bike-riding exercise regime crashed and burned. He sees no change anytime soon but isn’t too upset since the summer heat is far too oppressive for vigorous outdoor exercise.

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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