Prison Radio
Spoon Jackson

“Struggle To Be.”

I don’t want to give loneliness freelance to do its thing, but ultimately, sometimes it happens anyway. So long it has been since my body has been where it wanted to go. I read, write, and I long for a hug, a long walk down the beach, a hike up a mountain path, and to plant and watch a garden prosper in spring. I long to go to Sweden where I know people care for me. I ponder and dream and wonder. I struggle to be.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, not unlike what came before. The days seem to run into each other like merging clouds. And only yesterday, a moment ago, it seems like I was 19. There was a place inside me back then, an unknown area, I went to when I started this time in prison decades ago. That place inside I did not know existed or know now how I naturally went there each time some new prison horror, rule, or behavior required me to go to this spot.

Like everyone, everywhere in the world, upon awakening each morning I struggle to be who I am. I try to avoid the omnipresent thoughts of loneliness, boredom, death, and aloneness that are enhanced tenfold in prison, but the thoughts keep coming. The green grass and door flowers have been cut and rolled under by pounds of steel. A few bees are busy seeking to pollinate the remaining damaged flowers and bring them back to life. They suckle out what is left in the bulbs.

From barred, thick, thin plastic window on the backside of the cell, I can see rock doves and geese, turkeys, and a couple of huge blackbirds. Crows [inaudible] at the edge of silence. There are only marble sized spots in the window I can see out of. And then only if I twist and strain my eyes and body, I see out of the window where the rain has washed away, some of the paint that darkens a window in the colorless wall. I hope there will be an angle for the sun to blink in through the window and share some hope.

Why can’t we live our dreams, each being in their own niche, where loneliness and despair are like far away stars, a million light years from here? Where love, peace and kindness, bloom like sunflowers. Why must life be a dream, a moment, a utopia, a puff of smoke? Oh, why must the lovely wildflower wither and go away when the sun forever shines. Standing in the same spot each morning, I struggle to be who I am for a day.

For a moment, at dusk, and the red headed black turkey vultures circle, closer and closer, like soft flowing kites, not once flapping their wings. Feel I am in all small things: baby sparrows, crows, geese, spiders, blackbirds, cowbirds, rock doves, and baby flowers. They make me smile like the lovely spider web in the corner of the art room window, and the daddy long leg spiders in the cage outside the art room, where I sit and play my Native American flute. The sweet sunrise of winter, summer, spring, and fall warm my heart; looking at a transparent moon in the daylight sky makes me hope. It all makes me wonder about nothing in particular, no language is required, and no reason.

(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.