Monday, June 16, 2008
Maudlin Fathers Day
I was woken by my two handsome sons this morning they gave me great handmade cards and bought me a lovely bottle of after shave. I love smellies I don't think you should bathe in it but just hint of something nice is good.
Anyway I then had to go visit someone in prison which was quite sad. When I was much younger I lost my way and ended up in prison for a short time on 4 separate occasions. It feels so distant now, almost dream like, but I know it was real. I am not very proud of it but I won't hide, it I think the bad experiences we have in life sometimes define us more than the positive ones. I have learnt more in difficult times than in good times. I'm not saying you should go to prison for a bit of character development but when this stuff happens we can either assimilate it into our lives and take something positive from it or hide it, be damaged by it and live with a sense of shame. I don't want to live like that.
People have often said to me I should do work in prison but in all honesty I couldn't, I came out of prison today and felt emotionally wrecked. There's a helplessness to prison a sense of despair and heaviness that I just can't cope with. I believe prison is right and when I was inside people used to say "If you can't do the time don't do the crime" so I never sat around feeling overly sorry for myself or unfairly treated, I did stuff that was wrong I got caught and ended up in prison, fair enough.
Freedom was something that I didn't really cherish until it was taken from me. Freedom to have a bath! get up when you want, go to work, get a job, eat what you want, be with your partner, phone people, choose who you spend time with, travel etc.. I appreciate these things now, although I prefer showers to baths.
I have said this before but the worst habit I have from being in prison nearly 20 years ago is that I have to sleep with a pillow over my head. All the junkies would scream all night because they couldn't get their drugs and the only way I could get to sleep was with a pillow over my head, I still do this even in the baking heat of Ibiza.
One of the interesting things about prison is once you have been there you lose your fear of it, you don't lose your fear of freedom being taken away you just lose your fear of the actual institution of prison. Sometime when we confront or are forced to face the things we fear we realise that they are not quite so scary!
Anyway I don't know why I have got so maudlin on fathers day, maybe just overawed with what I have now in comparison to what I had then. Today I was woken by the beauty of my present reality and then confronted with the reality of my past.
I like what I have now and the past helps me appreciate the present more.