Miles Traveled: 373 Total Miles Traveled: 10,585 Location: Gainesville, FL
Least We Forget: A lot has been said and done over the last 60 days and know full well our young lady is still behind bars with no access to her child. Talk is a start but in the final analysis it is going to take action. Action means expending energy toward some end be it walking in and teaching something or putting our elected officials in a hammer lock and pointing out the error or their ways. Programs do not require much more than a person walking in to achieve an end that will be helpful to the audience. It can be writing, 12 step meetings, dance, movement, tutoring, yoga, etc. I know one christian lady that goes in with magazines, scrap books, coloring pencils and glue. She helps youthful offenders create a story line for their life. A very popular program that is always well attended. I have been shown many scrap books with baby photos as well as this and that. One of the most powerful programs I have ever seen was made into a documentary called What I want my words to do you if nothing else get it from Netflix and take a look at it and be motivated to do something.
Those clouds again: This was the first 200 miles today. Clouds, cold and generally miserable. The one thought that lifted my spirits was that I would soon be home and see familiar faces of those I cared about. Know that when I left the Atlanta area there were people in t-shirts and staring at me with a hooded sweat shirt and heavy leather jacket. Early on a cloudy morning traveling at highway speeds is cold no matter how you cut it. Was considering putting on the rain suit just to keep warm.
Prison Van: Don’t have any idea how many of you have seen these vans and buses as they travel the highways and byways of the states. On the surface they look harmless but the reality is they can be a horror show. You see, they don’t stop at rest stops or gas stations but only stop in a jail or prison. That means if you have a medical problem or a bowl movement, then you got to hold what you got till you get where you are going. Make a mess and they will hand you a bottle of bleach or some such thing and you get to clean it up. A ride of a couple of hundred miles can turn into a real nightmare.
Highway Dividers: Don’t know how long this has been going on but see the concrete dividers that separate the lanes of traffic on the Interstates. Well, as I grew up and back in the day, interstates used to be two ribbons of concrete with lots of grass between the lanes and on each side. Then there were trees on the sides that made traveling almost a pastoral event. Now, the concrete barriers strike me as a major hazard as something goes wrong in the left land and I have seen cars spin off of the concrete barriers bringing other cars into the disaster. Instead of seeing a car come to a stop in the grass, there is a pile up with a lot of people getting hurt. Contingency planning on the motorcycle becomes very dicey.
Its the sun: About the time I hit the Florida line the sun finally broke through the clouds and the weather turned warm. However, no way was I going to shed my jacket and sweatshirt. Clouds cast shadows on the highways and those shadows can mean a drop in the temperature of several degrees. Its like going from warm to cold. There have been more than a couple of days in the last week were the thought of hugging my exhaust pipes for warmth had a lot of appeal. When I pulled into a gas station, inevitably I would pause and just feel the heat from the engine and pipes climb into my legs and lower trunk. A very sensual and wonderful feeling when its cold.
My dashboard: Wish I had the ability to express my amazement at the elegant simplicity of the the dashboard here as compared to say my Prius. My camera, chewing gum and tooth picks are in the bag. In front of the bag is my TomTom in a water proof container and below that is a speedometer. Everything else is operated by the left or right thumb. The blur in the background is the highway being grayed out as I move at highway speeds.
Home but not done: Yes, I did get home but as I have traveled the highways and byways of the nation, thinking about women and children in the jails and prisons of the nation. For my part, I will continue with my programs but am going to add a few features. First and foremost is that I am going to take the motorcycle to any venue that I can reach to talk that will not conflict with my teaching schedule in Lowell CI. Second, am going to work on MBSR for correction officers and staff. Third, am going to write for any publication that will print what I have to say about prisons and the administration of justice. What I need from y’all is suggestions as to how we can turn this blog into a resource that will help others in their work, re-entry and whatever ways that will help. This is your time to speak and offer suggestions. It has a lot of information and we need to figure out how to use it.