2/28/88 - Alexandria Jail

Well. Here I am in Alexandria Jail now, told I'm to be collected by the federal marshals again tomorrow, told I can get this to you through prison mail. I was picked up by federal marshals and flown by private jet from Lexington airport to D.C. airport. One of the three guards was named William Thomas. He was sympathetic to learn why I was in jail. The others were just embarrassed, and avoided talking to me at all cost.

This place is weird. Men and women in adjacent holding cells, with large picture windows, so I have to pull a blanket up around me when I pee. I got the guards to shut the floppy blinds that swing vertically outside, plus they keep the slot in the solid metal door closed all the time except during meals.

Overheard through the door, deputy to inmate down the hall: "Knock on my window one more time and you won't never see the outside again, they'll find you floating in a sewer someplace!"

I've been asking to call my lawyer for three days. A woman down the cell block's been calling for help for hours, no response.

Guards pass. I ask for trivial things: toilet paper, a book, a pill to ease my cramps, a telephone call. "Sure," they say. Hours pass. I ask again - same face, new face. "Of course!" They're gone. Sometimes, I want to die. But then I wonder what good it could possibly do. Might I wake where the hours hang and drip, for aeons only memories, no end in sight?

I'm growing old, inside and out. Cells bloat. Eyes glaze. Lips crack. Oh, where's the precious, breathing sky? Entombed, I wait. The pain remains. At last I simply shrouded my face and let the guards pass by

Drew a weeping Jimmy Swaggart from the cover of the magazine one guard remembered to bring me. And now ... too easy to weep ... a little sleep.


I overheard a man holler at a passing deputy, "Hey, man, I gotta take a sh!t!"

"Do it in there," the deputy barked.

"But there ain't no toilet in here!" the voice howled.

"If you hadn't acted like an animal you wouldn't be in that cell. I'll get you some toilet paper but you gotta do it in there. If you bang on this door one more time you'll have to live in it."

Can freedom be won by wishing jailers dead?

Oh, why, why, why can't I conjure your face, voice?

Oh why, why, why does God seem silent?

I want to sleep the time away. Why can't I?

How close is madness?

Do others cry, alone, in silent cells? Not silent, no, those hated radios crackle down the hall - but human silence, Buckingham guards who ignore the pleas for compassion, stony silence, how can they do it? Could I? Could they break me?

So imperfect. So trapped in body. Teach me how, oh God, oh Christ, oh Mother, Whoever is out there, or in here, please, teach me, show me, don't let me break. Or break me down, take me to the bottom if you must, but don't leave me alone in silence, days and nights of silence.... Fill me with the words that heal a tortured mind, the light that blinds so I can see, can truly see the answers to the questions that are tearing me apart.

3/3/88 Back at D.C. Jail

We've received a second sentence, 30 days this time, Judge Flannery, another "camping" charge. I don't relish the prospect of transport. Apparently my first trip to Lexington was mild. I've heard some horror stories. I think of Pam of the magnificent lungs, who gave me her Bible my first morning in jail. Pam was locked down in her cell 24 hours a day during the first 2-1/2 weeks I spent in D.C. Jail for fighting with another inmate. She had miscarried right after she arrived here because a male guard kicked her in the stomach, while shackled, in transit to the jail. I think of the woman in Lexington (a hospital facility) who died of a heart attack because no one would take her up one flight of stairs, saying her chest pains were "indigestion"' or the man at Lex with gangrene who had the wrong leg cut off and now has no legs; or the woman in Alexandria jail last weekend who was told by the judge, if she waived an attorney she'd be released with five days "time served," but is still sitting in jail because of bureaucratic foul-ups.


I've been moved again, right after Diane Dustin of AP called to say she wanted to interview me yesterday, and I've heard nothing from her since they asked if it was okay, so I'm wondering if I've somehow been "lost" in the system, which may be why I had no visit from the park today, too. I'm on SW-1, Cell 65, double-bunked with a very pleasant woman named Etta, who just told me I'm going to write myself into paralysis. It's somewhat quieter here.

Sgt. Robinson said most of the people where I am are awaiting shipment, so I may not be leaving for Lex soon, or at all.

B managed to get them to bend prison rules and delivered replacement clothes and shoes for the ones stolen as I was going through intake.

I've been writing up a storm. Truly, my fingers being to spasm. Hug the "boys" for me, will you. And dream with me tonight?


Last night I had a bad moment, wept, fell asleep, had a dream which symbolically seemed to answer my cries from the wilderness. [Lexington is a million-square-foot labyrinth in the country. It has orientation classes and "free time."]

I fled a labyrinth, slipping from a crumbling, columned, vaulted, well-lit classroom where aging children obediently sat at their desks, two to a table, writing the rules the jailers dictated. I had been here before in a night dream weeks ago when you and I met with Senators and business leaders to brainstorm Utopia. While led in unshackled bondage meekly from our cells to this meeting place, I dreamed, I had noticed cracks and crevices which might lead to freedom. I slipped into a column's shadow when the class was given two hours' free time and clustered out the way we had come in. I waited until they'd gone, then stepped unseen through a hole in the wall.

I wove down a long hall past broken masonry and mysterious rooms rumbling with sounds of machinery, memorizing my way so I could return in time not to be missed.

Out a crack, into the light! Broken ground. A chain-link construction fence. A street. A city-scape. No one at my back. I picked through clods and rods and concrete lumps. But wait! A woman was standing beside a pile of lumber near the fence, smoking with a man, both of whom I thought I recognized as fellow inmates. So others knew this secret. Odd there were no guards. I kept walking, wary, alone, and slipped through the fence.

On the city streets my footsteps echoed. No life. The buildings, locked and empty, backed up to a desert. I roamed. I suddenly realized I was due back in the classroom or I'd be missed. I was anxious, I needed to be back where there were people, they might disappear if I was lost, or late. I began to run, the slow, going-nowhere run of nightmares, when suddenly the thought came to me, "fly!" Oh, yes, I knew how to fly. Why had I forgotten?

I stretched out to lift off just as I felt a tug at the seat of my pants. I looked back, startled. There was the woman from the fence, flying, launching me. "But I know how!" I said. She smiled and let go. "I heard your thought!" I said, delighted. She nodded. We flew together through the streets, over and between buildings, she directing me soundlessly, communicating with thoughts..

This is the first time I've ever flown with anyone in a dream.

"Are you the Mother?" I asked her. [She looked more like a sister.] Unanswered, I sank to the ground, found myself alone, outside the labyrinth, in the construction lot, inside the fence. I looked back. The woman stood at the fence, alone, her back to me.

Suddenly I saw a slight, athletic man in ragged black clothes, black hair, handsomely chiseled too-white face and wide, toothy smile advancing quickly on me. I saw a flash of bulging white at his midsection. Repelled, I turned away, tried to fly, but couldn't, tried to run, but stumbled. "No!" I cried. He swerved, swept directly in front of me. His rags blew back, and a huge erection, the waxy color of a dead catfish belly, bobbed past at eye level. He had a manic gleam in his grinning face. I looked back for the woman. Too far away and oblivious. I fell on the ground, covering my head, saying "Go away! Jesus! Help!" and snapped awake, in bed, here in the top bunk of my cell, back again full circle in D.C. Jail.

Tinny sounds. A woman crying in her sleep. A guard banging her flashlight on the grill to make someone turn over so her face can be seen. A toilet flushing. A laugh. A life, of sorts. After some reflection, I pulled the blanket over my head, went back to sleep, and happily flew some more.

Do you ever fly? It's fun.

Back to Lexington again soon, I hear and hope, loving the people whose interrupted lives are part of mine now, briefly, but long, long, long stretching ahead for months, years, decades, no one should be trapped like this, there must be another solution to confusion, there must be another way to win the war on "crime."


Dear U -

I'm floating on love, and after the last couple of letters I wrote (wrenched from hollow places, or just plain weird), which MAY be on their way to you from Lorton, I thought I'd get this out to you tonight so it can (maybe) reach you first, so that when you read them you'll recognize how fleeting were the thoughts put down, out of a need to be honest and to retain, for my own akashic record, the process of growing.

It looks like I'll be typing legal papers in the Library for inmates, and tutoring other inmates, while here in D.C. Jail....


Dear friends, greetings from D.C. Jail (where I await probable re-transport to Lexington KY to serve the last days of my now 80-day sentence, thanks to Judge Flannery). After my release (April 16) I hope there will be no more incarcerations since we finally managed to get permits from the Park Service to conduct our vigil with clear guidelines as to what is and is not permitted, based on the testimony at our trial by the attorney who WROTE the camping (and other Lafayette Park) regulations. I think, and pray, that this current confinement is simply the judicial meltdown of a snowball that began years ago. Perhaps a spring of reason is evolving in Peace Park.

When I was brought back to D.C. from Kentucky for sentencing before Judge Flannery last week (flown on commercial air line in custody of THREE marshals! - how's that for a waste of tax dollars? - better than weapons, I suppose), Thomas managed to slip me a copy of the February 26 City Paper, which ran the feature, "The Politics of Peace Park." I was disappointed by its slant: rather than showing the sense of community which has grown over the years, it implied divisiveness. Of particular concern to me was one representation I want to lay to rest forever. The author mistakenly wrote we "dismiss the mainstream anti-nuke movement as careerist."

NOT TRUE! I want this a matter of public record, I believe I can speak for Thomas and most of the other vigilers -- we now number a dozen or more -- and I swear personally, that we don't "dismiss" anyone working for peace and global nuclear disarmament. Yes, we've chosen this vigil as our form of communicating to the 3 million people each year who visit the White House, day and night, about the need for each individual to accept responsibility to help resolve the arms race. But the lobbying efforts and educational materials published by "mainstream" organizations are an extremely useful, necessary tool, for which we're grateful. We urge people to seek out peace groups in their own communities. We refer people to you regularly.

Naturally, we believe the more people hit the streets, seriously engaging in nonviolent and persistent action, the more successful the peace movement will be. Naturally, we'd love to see the park filled with sincere activists -- and every public park, outside every seat of government.

We understand, though, that not everyone is able to take as dramatic a step as the one we've chosen, at least not yet. Thank God and you for all you're doing to bring our mis-educated neighbors, step-by-step, into the fold of awareness. May we all continue to work together with ever-increasing harmony and effectiveness.


At last! I got your 3/8 note and stamps. Still in DC jail, in a cell block of 39 cells and 77 other women awaiting transport, so who knows what will happen. I just take each day as it comes, fretting less, centering more, seeking answers of vastness, finding a few (I think); basically minding my own business, not doing much outreach among the other women, who are both more mature and more retiring than those on the "unsentenced" (i.e. worried) side where I was originally housed. I bean teaching English last week; actually, mostly editing essays and helping answer questions in class. It's a satisfying way to pass the days. I began an art class here which was horrifying (the teacher has a serious attitude problem), and was glad to be invited to forego that torture in favor of helping people learn how to communicate.

I spoke to B Sunday. He said the rally Saturday night was terrific, about 40 people showed up. Friends say they'll come visit me in Lex, I keep telling them that's not necessary, just knowing they want to is as good as a visit, and after all, I'll be free in just a few weeks.

Have you been writing? I do wish you'd concentrate that talent and wit to editorials and articles so we can begin tapping a new area of interest. The courts have proved their prejudice. But there's a big audience we haven't tapped yet. We've won people's sympathy and respect, to some degree, by perseverance and imprisonment, but the ideas are not yet appreciated because not yet heard.

I suppose you've learned that Bob, Winnie, Lynn, Song and (no kidding!) Art Spitzer of the ACLU have all had letters published in City Paper the last two weeks? Art wrote:

"Michael Willrich's excellent article about the Lafayette Park vigilers ... accurately noted that the ACLU had not challenged the latest demonstration regulations in court. Because some readers might have mistaken our inaction for approval, I write to make clear our belief that the existing restrictions are a gratuitous harassment of persons exercising First Amendment Rights, and thus unconstitutional. However, our losses in several previous Lafayette Park and White House sidewalk cases persuaded us that we would most likely lose a court challenge to the latest rules, and we concluded that discretion was, on this occasion, the better part of valor. We look forward to the day when the courts (and the citizenry) will be as eager to protect the speech of Concepcion Picciotto and William Thomas as they are to protect the speech of Katharine Graham and Larry Flynt."

I often think back to four years ago, when I met you and decided to commit myself to making sure the vigil survived. I dreamed then that the insanity would dissolve; that creative, committed people would supplant and convert the crazies surrounding us; that you would be treated with the respect your ideas and courage deserved. I think these dreams have made great strides, love. What wonderful people the Peace Park family have proved to be!

I've also been thinking a lot about what brought us here. True, there was the massive, seemingly mindless, insect-pincer-like effect of a bureaucracy stung by us puny gnats. But I can't help but think that my own bitterness and pride created a karmic debt which inevitably, inexorably led me here. And I try to map out strategies for the future in which a jail sentence will truly be unjust - where my words and actions and thoughts and writings will be so loving that I can face God and my own conscience with no hedging.

As I told you, I've been plodding through the post-Gospel New Testament (Paul bogged me down for awhile). This week I read James, and his message hits home:

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.... But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.... If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.... But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."


Today the English teacher didn't show, and I have to teach seven classes. The first couple I zombied out on, quite unsuccessfully, sticking to "English." But by fourth period I'd had it with zombie-ism, and I told the class why I'm here and assigned them the essay (after some very lively discussion_) "What would it take to reverse the arms race? (or should we?)" (The last parenthetical I scribbled as an afterthought because one of the women was arguing heatedly.)

It turned out one fellow spent a bunch of time talking to you here before you were moved -- Neil's his name, a bright young man here for the first time on a drug charge. His arguments were better than mine! The other man in the class apparently has a friendship with the argumentative woman; he just smiled and sang "All we gotta do is love one another!".


They're bored.

They have nothing to do.

"Let's tease the animals in their cages,"

say the keepers

of the zoo.

The night yawns.

Bodies rustle and moan.

Grey-suited guards, bulging, singing,

flick the overhead lights on.


(who in Hell knows?)

(Is there never a private moment?)

(Must our dreams too be lost?)

Saturday, 3/19/88

Four years ago today we met. How much I've changed ... tapped into potential ... learned of the world's follies and joys ... grown strong. And you? You're still as wonderful.

During the four days of solitary in Alexandria Jail I went through a terrible time of spiritual emptiness. I read the Bible, prayed, tried through a conscious act of will to climb out of the feelings that were assailing me, but most of all, overpoweringly, I had a sense of absolute solitude -- not so much missing freedom or even people, as fearing eternity. I felt panicky, thinking "If only four days of being cut off from the world/my body, i.e. confined to my own mind, can be so empty -- what must eternity be like? Will I have only my own thoughts for company, forever?" In desperation, and tears, I began to write questions which evolved into a feeling of release, sleep, and (since then_ a sense of peace which was strengthened, three nights in a row, by reams which answered those questions. I prayed to "the Mother" ... which led to a dream of flying, where I was accompanied by a female force ... that triggered the sense of comfort. So what is "the mother"? A thought to ponder.

A very sad piece of news: Darlene was found three nights ago, beaten to death, at 17th and Rhode Island. I pray in her next life that poor, tortured child will find the love she needs to head her toward peace. A tragic life that was headed toward a miserable end. We all tried to help, but once again, I'm reminded that we're very lucky indeed if we can help anyone, perhaps even ourselves. Just to get through life without hurting anyone is a major miracle.

I keep having nightmares about my son that pop me awake. There's unfinished business there ... but it's up to him to take the next step.

Dennis just visited, quite a surprise. He still is anxiously searching for "the answer" - speaks of evil forces attacking him through association, says if he can understand the nature of evil, he'll be able to conquer it (maybe). I said I thought the search for understanding can sometimes be a trap 00 that the most effective means for countering evil I'd found was to ask God for help, and not worry about fathoming why or how -- let Gold, and let go. He nodded, looked reflective, and changed the subject. Since it was about the 20th time we'd had that conversation, probably it didn't get through --0 but perhaps the solemnity of scratched Plexiglas added weight to the words?

I find, with all visitors, we're spending most of our time talking about spiritual matters. Anger, resentment, blame have slipped away. May they never find place in our lives again.

My roomy, Etta, has gone in search of a Scrabble game, so I'll polish this off, send it off, with ever-expanding love....

3/21/88 a.m.

And so, it's spring.


Your letter truly brightened my day. Back from my exercises, feel the satisfaction of flab peeling away. I took two days off from the nightly regimen to pamper cramps,, but no more grotesque sloth. Toned muscles = clear brain....

On March 15 I wrote a note to Art Spitzer about his letter in City Paper. Today, I got the following reply:

"Thanks for your very welcome letter of March 15, which I've shared with the rest of the staff here. We all hope that your stay at the jail is not too oppressive, and that you will return to your vigil refreshed and renewed.

"Regards to Thomas. Art."

I discovered today why I'm still here -- paperwork failure. Apparently someone failed to record my sentence. I show on the computers as "convicted, pending sentence" as of March 2. Last time Acie visited, he recommended I ask to see my face sheet, and I sure am glad I did! There was no record of my second sentencing! Mrs. Crimi, the English teacher, told me a horror story today about an Hispanic prisoner who came to her last November, supposed to have been released in October, sentenced the previous December; the District Court had failed to send the judgment and commitment to D.C. Jail, and nobody noticed, and he had nobody on the outside to raise a ruckus on his behalf. Mrs. Crimi pursued it and got him out. She said she asked the people in Records if this happened regularly. "Yes," they told her. "And until somebody comes along to tell us about it - like you - they're stuck." Naturally I began making a flurry of telephone calls and visits. Today it paid off. While they still haven't computed days, at least the sentence is in electronic green and black. It's still up in the air whether the marshals know I'm ready to go, and until they do, I stay. "I guarantee you, Mrs. Thomas, you won't be here one day longer than your time. I'll SEE t it. I'm SURE they wouldn't want to live with the consequences if they were to make THAT mistake," my CP Officer, Henderson, said. We both chuckled.

I'll be out of here sometime, now.

Time. Time to notice, quietly observe.

The woman who shares cell 66, next door, who hold herself aloof, cool, tucked in, when outside her door -- but inside, door wide, walks, stoops, stretches, dances naked, in constant transition, loving her nudity, and the eyes of anyone who notices.

The couples, touching, nuzzling, giggling, wary, when I turn the corner into laundry room or (rarely open) gym, wondering, I suppose if I'll turn them in, or judge them, them strange; defiant in their strangeness; finally, indifferent to my watchful silence as I'm indifferent to their sexual preferences.

The bully, large, loud, challenging, challenged, learning to control her foul tongue, learning to replace rage with tentative smiles, learning to ask rather than demand, learning to be quiet.

The guards, some caught up in delusions of power, most just human beings, some as puzzled as the inmates they befriend by the quirk of fate that brings us all here to this incredibly intimate, intricate, time-filled, timeless ritual of Keeper and Restrained....

Beloved friends,
I hear the weather warms.
I hear Darlene died.
Here, the air remains the same:
flatulent and fried.
Cells open; cells close.
From meal to meal we creep.
And yet we laugh; sometimes we mourn.
When we can ... we sleep.


"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2


P lastered to pretense:
E ven the pure
A dam knew Eve.
C ain was their spoor.
E ve knew a Question
I ts answer was death.
S uch "love" has a jealous god?
P oison, such breath!
O h, Mother of Boundless Love,
S ense how we grope!
S uccor our endless need!
I nstruct us in hope!
B anish the scent of Power -
L et Truth bring release -
E ngulf us with wisdom's flower

SO our minds can find Peace.



Please don't lose this? I'm out of paper, and I need to remember these thoughts later....

Human nature is such a puzzle, sometimes.

There's a large, loud, perpetually foul-mouthed woman here, with suspicious little eyes, ever-defensive, calling everyone "motherfing bitch" both in anger and in jest. The last voice we hear at night and the first we hear in the morning, and at every interim between, is her mocking laugh and obscenities. Yet "Gwen!" can be heard all up and down the cell block - with obvious affection - on those few occasions when she falls silent.

I work hard at remaining neutral, though the imp, rage, crawls into my brain when I'm trying to capture a few minutes' sleep in the midst of bedlam. I try to understand her, so loving her can be easy, and at times I do capture sorrow for the life that made her such an unpleasant companion. But that easy affection she seems to inspire in the others is an enigma. Does she speak for them their darkest thoughts? Does her blatancy give them courage? Or is there simply a profound cultural difference here that I couldn't fathom unless I'd grown up poor, black, female in DC? I suspect the latter may be true.

I've been reading a lot of Black literature: Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" - "Meridian" by Alice Walker - a number more are available in Mrs. Crimi's vault, if I have time. I'm reading a book a day, sometimes beginning and discarding others of no worth, those I can't learn from. As a result I AM seeing new dimensions in the women I'm sharing time with. There are a number who, like me, retreat into reading, writing, meditation, and silent observing. We swap books. At rare moments, though, the majority break out in spontaneous celebration, clapping, dancing, singing, rapping, releasing tension. I envy them the release, enjoy experiencing it, but always on the fringes. Not that they wouldn't welcome me, I'm the one who remains on the edge, a familiar place for me in every world I've inhabited.

Except yours.


Welcome to my bunk, bug: this world I inhabit, 3 feet by six feet, balanced an arms-length from the ceiling of a cell 7 feet by ten by ten, walls the color of dirty ivory, pocked by tiny holes -- puncture wounds from pen tips jammed by raging writers whose ink refused to flow? -- smudged by calendars painfully x-ed off by inmates gone -- GONE. Yes! days do end one by one, creeping like the tiny roach now tiptoeing from hole to random hole.

"EEK!" a fellow resident daintily hangs from her bunk. "There's a mouse in my cell!" "So?" I test her. "What do you mean? There's a MOUSE running across my FLOOR!" "So what harm can it do?" A sign of life, foreign, alien, a hint that if the outside world can get in, so too can we, one day, get out -- we AREN'T buried, entombed, the air is NOT slowly staling to asphyxiation. But oh! you have to feel the weight of days, one heavy, boxed in, spongy lump following another, eyes peeling off the angles of the cell, blurred by restless questions masked as sleep. Here creeps the lonely bedbug, "If only."

No ifs here. Just whats. And whispering, wondering, sweaty weight of days.


Cherry blossoms! Outside the grilled windows of Education Dept (third floor) and down three sets of windows, across sidewalks and roads, the first, long watched-for sprays of white and pink erupted over the weekend. The branches of the other trees look swollen, ready to burst. Delicious memories.

There's a flat-topped little park between jail and hospital, a big grey-and-red rimmed-white cross patterned in cement. Warning bombers?

Two opposites repeatedly crop up.

(1) Often I imagine, in this airlessness, underground bunkers in post-holocaust days, inmate survivors waiting out their lives in desolation, knowing cherry blossoms will bloom no more, nothing to look forward to but the lives of moles. How could anyone stand it? How can we not give our lives to avoid it?

(2) Over and over, tighter and tighter I'm visited by visions of my stupidities, selfish choices, near disasters, and lonely, lonely children waiting for Mamma to come home, to listen, to care. I sleep and dream, enjoy the dreams, at first, but they all seem to twist to an event, a failure, different failures, but all with the same result: I snap awake, look at who I was, what I did, and despise myself. When, oh when can I forgive and forget? It's never a matter of forgiving anyone else -- or blaming -- perhaps that's as far as this soul is able to progress.

Back on March 16 - only 12 days ago, but the intensity of thought enforced by this life makes it seem long, long ago - I was analyzing the fact that I couldn't seem to write creatively. No stories, no novel, play, or anything else except scraps of poems seem to emerge, and failing like a failure I tried some free association:

What message do I need to tell?

To whom?



Does the experience of this single pool have meaning beyond its shores?

Is there nourishment in its depths?

Or has the maze this body has bumped through value only to this single soul?

Are we required to tell what we know, or only live it?

Is there most value in sympathetic silence?

Are anecdotes a waste of breath, an ego-centric cry for recognition?

Note: Jesus and Buddha wrote no autobiography.

Is my lifelong inability to "complete" a manuscript a failure or, in fact, like "my" early unwillingness to have an abortion, a saving grace for which this soul will thank its Guide in after days of purer enlightenment?

Is the gift of words given that I might speak without self?

God guide my thoughts and pen in ways which bear perfect fruit.

Release me from me.


That's the answer, of course. Have you ever thought what a challenge it would be to think, write, and speak without ever using the words, or concepts, "I" "me" "my"?

The doubts get deeper as the days get longer - not the whats, but the hows of how best to become living truth. The more one knows, the less one's sure.

Rather than concentrating on doubts alone (not to deny them, but to plumb them dry then turn to positive things), best to concentrate on whats and let the hows emerge, day to day, opportunity taken....

Hermits, stretch forth our necks, lift the transparent skins from our eyes, hear the drums pumping through Earth's veins.

What new battlegrounds await our falterings?

What needs doing most urgently?

What CAN we effect - where do Death's garments brush us personally?

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just ... pure ... lovely ... of good report; if there by any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things ... and the God of peace shall be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

"If God be for you, who can be against you?" Romans 8:31

"Remember: you too have a guardian angel. You don't know who it is, so you'd be advised to treat everyone as though they were your guardian angel." Gorgeous stranger, 11/22/84, on Bill Johnson's TV set, at 3:30 a.m., just before the lights went out.


Omigod. Tonight a very lovely, gentle soul, mother of three small children who a year ago got sucked into a nightmare that ended with a dead man in the back seat of her car, was given maximum sentence: eight to 24 years for second degree murder.

Gloria Lopez was attacked and kidnapped and in the process of being raped when two men she knew casually rescued her, got in a fight with her assailants, and in the fight ended up killing her ex-lover/rapist. Gloria, daughter of a Colombian minister, was terrified and said nothing to anyone. The D.A. painted it as a new-lover-killing-the-old conspiracy. Despite Gloria's spotless record, and the judge's professed concern that Gloria had three children (she's a nurse, too!), she will spend the eight most important years of their lives away from them in a federal penitentiary, the continuing victim of an endless nightmare. I wish you knew her. Your heart too would break.


3/29/88 - 4 a.m.

Hooray! Shipping out to Lex today! Love you! I'll write through B....

Jail Notes - Part 1 | Jail Notes - Part 3