Sunday, April 28, 2019

Grateful! by James Goodwin

Another day in this life, I woke up telling the universe thank you as each foot hit the floor. I sit for a time trying to feel the thank yous, attempting to summon gratitude and send it out into the day ahead of me, my herald.

My celly is still asleep so I whisper the Lakota prayer song that the pipe carrier thought me. my friend. fourteen years ago him and I were in another prison fighting in the gym bathroom. each of us trying to beat the other unconscious with everything we had. both slaves to prison politics. now we share ceremony together and help each other heal. we sweat in the womb of our sacred mother together and pray, brothers in a cosmic sense. for this I am grateful.

I finish this prayer song as old as human memory and reach for my jpay tablet to check my messages. nothing. I smile thinking of the mother I "adopted" and how I just received a surprise Easter card from her. I can't remember the last time I received a birthday card or a card of any kind from the people whose blood runs through my veins. her card may have choked me up a bit. allegedly. she is my mom because I love her and she calls me son and returns that love. what else matters more? For this I am grateful.

I get ready for my day, a day of working out drawing and reading. many others prepare for visits. I have had two visits in twenty two years. once I was in McNeil island and my birth mother lived fifteen minutes away. she never visited me. I go to unity group and there is a surprise visitor from Black And Pink taking time out of their life to hang with us. I thank of all the awesome volunteers that come in to see us. for them I am grateful.

I draw pictures for my friends, explosions of color contrasting with greys and blacks. I have a gift that takes my mind on adventures of creation and exploration. Bringing life into a mausoleum of potentially wasted lives and potential. its a gift for which I am grateful.

I see my friends and we greet each other smiling and joking. I talk to my little sister, Ruth, briefly as she passes on her way to some program. Another step on her road to changing the world. These people are the family I never had and desperately wanted all my life. for them all I am grateful.

I sit down on my bunk and switch off my lamp in preparation for sleep. I think over the day. a day without violence or fear. a day spent around people I love and cherish. I look out my window as the sun slides below the horizon and beyond the razor wire and gun tower there is the most magnificent view of mountains swimming in a majestic sky. Its a view for which I am grateful.

Lakota creator prayer song

wakan tanka toka heya cewakiyelo
great spirit I pray to him first
wakan tanka toka heya cewakiyelo he....
great spirit to him first I pray
mitakye ob wani
with my relatives I shall live
kta ca toka heya cewakiyelo he....
this is why I pray to him first

tunkasila toka heya cewakiyelo
grandfather I pray to him first
tunkasila toka heya cewakiyelo he....
grandfather to him first I pray
mitakye ob wani
with my relatives I shall live
kta ca toka heya cewakiyelo he....
this is why I pray to him first

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In solidarity
James Cody Goodwin

Write/contact me at

James Cody Goodwin 764730 D-A-201-1
MCC-TRU
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272

or thru Jpay using James Goodwin # 764730

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