I slept alot and missed being "cared for". No one brought me chicken noodle soup. No one put a hand on my back and whispered "It will be alright.". No one changed my bedding. Being sick with family/friends around to comfort is nonetheless suffering; however, being sick in a cold concrete jail cell was UNIMAGINABLE until last week. This week has been suffering with a pinch of lonely and a dash of despair.
The situation made me realized that i have not hugged my wife in three months. Something we did everyday is missing!
I haven't held her hand or caressed her cheek with my hand...in all that time. I have not been touched in 90 days!!! Oh, the tribesmen do the Obama fist-bump from time-to-time and I get to participate yet knuckles on knuckles doesn't feel like touching...not really.
I think I remember reading years ago that a baby who is never touched will die! This makes me wonder how touch might affect the mood, the temper, the psyche of men in custody...AKA tribesmen in "the tank"! As mentioned in earlier blogs, "the tank" has many verbal arguments and a few fist fights have occurred over the past 90 days. What if "the system" invited massage students to "practice" for certification...on inmates? Would there be fewer fights? Would there be fewer Code BLUE episodes? Oh, not a full body massage but rather a fifteen-minute neck and back "kneading" ... in a chair...like those offered at the airport?? I know the jail keeps records of the number of Code Blues (i.e. the number of times that EMS comes to "the tank"). Wish I could figure a way to challenge the jail to experiment with the idea for 120 days; then compare the results to the historical record. I'll bet there would be less anger in "the tank". AND I would bet there would be a "cost saving" as well! (Remember, I = accountant??!!) ALAS, the system is so complex that I would not know where to begin?!
I think acupuncture could have a similar positive impact on "the system"...both microcosm and macrocosm. AND, like massage, there are students begging for bodies on which to practice. AND what about the guards?@# Less stress makes every body their best?? Okay...enough of that!!
Moments of awakening?!@#?
I rarely listen to what spews out of the TV. The little box is blaring for fourteen hours each and every day. Mostly I block it out as I read or write. However, every now and again, I hear a snippet of something - usually when I am pondering how to structure the next sentence in this blog!?@# A few minutes ago I heard Russell Wilson, the Seahawks quarterback, answer a reporter's question (which I did not hear) by quoting The Book of James, Trials and Temptations. Wilson said "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials." Since I heard it, and his words did not immediately evaporate from my consciousness, I decided to look up the full passage. (YUP, there are plenty of Bibles in jail for such research!)
In the Book of James, there are eighteen verses in Chapter One. What I get when I read it...and re-read it...is that I am to consider my current situation with PURE JOY and to PERSEVERE, for in the perseverance, I will become "mature and complete", not lacking anything.
As you probably recall, I've read these words from Viktor Frankel and Pema Chodron. NOW I hear them from Russell Wilson. NOW I AM A BELIEVER!!! :)
Seriously, I am beginning to GET IT!!
Doug Baldwin - 89