I’m concerned. Two nights ago I started writing an email to Jamie. I have used http://Jpay.com to write to him for about 7 years. I can send him emails, money and pictures, which is easier than handwriting mail, and getting money orders, although I do send him other things – articles and cards. But when I logged into Jpay yesterday morning, the option to send mail had disappeared. I could only send money. That had never happened before in all the years I’ve been writing.
I called Jpay. The rep I talked to had not heard of this happening, either, and called her supervisor. She told me the prison must have stopped it as a way of disciplining him. To me that says they are out of things to take away from him. There isn’t much more they can take away from you when you are in ad seg. So his books must be gone as well as all belongings, probably his mattress as well. His little fan? In this godawful heat. His food -still on food loaf, which I think they make from garbage. They feed it to them three times a day.
So what the hell happened that they would resort to stopping my emails. They would know I am the only one writing to him. Will a snail mail letter get through? Is it also directed at me for some reason because they didn’t like what they read? I’m grasping at straws. I just double checked again and it’s still blocked. My concern is mostly for Jamie because most likely it is a punishment for something.
Melvin, the man in Texas who goes to the prison to visit with him every 4 to 6 weeks was recently there. He said he was in good spirits. The cut on his foot was still hurting but it was starting to heal. They chanted together for awhile. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Jamie has been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for several years, a practice that is difficult to do on your own. It’s easy to begin, like deciding to go to the gym, but it is hard to maintain with encouragement, because since it is a practice it is something you do every day. He has been learning that we are the cause for own problems. We make the causes. We get the effects. Learning how to respond to life a different way takes more than just thinking about it. If you have an issue with anger there are things that are going to press your buttons and you are going to respond the same way no matter how many times you tell yourself not to. Actually changing something inside yourself that reflects in your environment takes time. You make baby steps. The first step is understanding how you could have reacted in a different way. We chant – deeply – to change that part of ourselves that causes us the most grief. It is a life long process. Most people understand there are benefits to meditation and chanting has the same benefits of that. Deep breathing calms you and enables you to think. Chanting is deeper that that.
The universe runs on a rhythm. We see it easily in the tides. All life is a cycle. Birth, aging, sickness and death. All of nature and all living beings. When you are able to join with that rhythm it brings into your life those things that help you and also those things you need to learn so you can change the things that cause you unhappiness. When you try to change the things that hold you down the only way to do that is to confront the very things that cause you unhappiness. We never get rid of problems. What we want is to deal with our problems in a different way that gets us a better result. This is not about asking something “out there” to change your life but instead looking inside yourself to change negative into positive. Accepting responsibility that there is no one but yourself to blame for the plan you have for your life. The plan wasn’t decided by something outside yourself. We make the causes that affect us. If we don’t change these things – especially an inmate – when he gets out he has little chance of doing things different and gravitates back to the life he had.
So I have to think – What has happened? Most of these guards have such low life conditions. We read about prison guard brutality more and more in the media. They have no problem hurting inmates just for the pleasure of being able to do it and get away with it. Did he react to something they did and that gave them the reason to want to hurt him?
All I can do is wait while I send him a snail mail. Today is Saturday. I tried to call the prison and no one is picking up the phone. Are they closed on Weekends? That doesn’t make sense. They have visiting hours today. I’ll keep trying. On Monday I’ll try again . . .
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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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