Nov. 8, 2018

Happy Halloween Fellow Mortals

From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


Johnny E. Mahaffey The Novelist Portent
October 31, 2018


We are on a lock-down ... and that means I can't call my wife or kids. It sucks. I don't even have a way to tell them why I haven't been able to call, other than send a letter in the mail (just as I'm doing with this post.)

I mailed a letter Monday, and today is Wednesday, and my letter usually takes only two days (average) -- so, they should have it in hand now. I know my wife has been worried. I said some things during our last phone conversation -- just minutes before the lock-down -- that I immediately regretted the moment the words had left my mouth. But, that's me. I'm so out of practice with relationship stuff that I was doomed to fail at it. The lock-down couldn't have come at a worse time for us.

Incarceration destroys family.

It kills any route of love or forgiveness, of understanding.

I love them, and I miss them. I miss all of my family: Jaime, Collin, Juliette, Connor, Eleanor, Michaila, Shylynn. I miss my parents, my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends (yeah, I did have a few), and I miss my dog, my cats, my fish. My home, my cars, my bed, my couch.

My cellie made parole. I see a lot of people with MY SAME CHARGE going home, against all odds. When will it be my turn? And, they have family, waiting for them, that will be outside that gate to pick them up -- with a change of clothes -- and a hug. I don't know if anyone will be there for me, or if anyone will want me.

Everything I say, is always from the heart, and my heart is full of love, hope, and ambition. People think I have some ulterior motive behind things -- and I guess in a way, I do. It's just not what they think. All I want is family. I want a home where I will be safe, where I can live out my days devoted to my love -- spending every day of the rest of my life showing her that I am real, that I am me, and I am who I am. Does that make sense? No games. No set-up. No spite, or "get back", just old me, walking the grandkids through our gated community in their Halloween get-ups, enjoying life.

Maybe things will work out.

What would I be for Halloween? A corpse, a walking zombie.

That would seem ... appropriate.



Replies (2) Replies feed

RansomingTheCaptive Posted 6 months, 1 week ago. ✓ Mailed 6 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
Thank you very much for writing. I finished the transcription for your post. I wish I had the right words, just know I care. Hang in there, and God bless.

FatherJohn Posted 6 months, 1 week ago. ✓ Mailed 6 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
Dear Johnny,

Very few people have identical personal belief systems. Personal belief systems drive where a person practices religion, but it is not their spirituality. Spirituality, in my personal belief system, is a constant seeking towards that which cannot be understood, that which cannot be seen, the mystery, that which lies beyond the grasp of any particular man, this side of the enlightenment of death, the supernatural, the Divine.

A long preface, I know, to make the point that to understand redemptive suffering is to make your time away from love to have some purpose, some meaning. Without purpose, the seeker may retreat into negative thinking that might lead one away from the mystery, i.e., bitterness, regret, envy, justice relativism, or hate. To gain meaningful suffering is to allow it to transform you into a human that loves unceasingly, that sees beauty in the stark monotony of concrete, steel, fences, concertina wire, and the beyond, and the ability to accept that a man MIGHT be transformed into a better man by pain and suffering, and will walk or leave that place to claim his destiny, a destiny we know not, but a destiny fueled by the grace of faith, hope, and love.

Sometimes lock-down's or segregation are used in ways made to break the human spirit. Only then might a man understand that man cannot take another man's seeking, his inner core that cannot be seen, his ability to be resilient for we are not only a body...we are much more...a composite of body and spirit. You can torture the mind and the body, but the spirit remains untouched if protected and guarded as mine, for now and forever, until I return from whence I came and my body joins the dirt and dust of ages.

Only spirituality might transform you through personal initiative, your seeking, your belief in the goodness of men and the mercy and love of the Divine. Your blog has repeatedly pointed to your wife's ability to rise above the abandonment and isolation of prison life, be that on the in or the out. In the same way, take your moments of sadness for what they are, moments of sadness, and then return to embrace the power of love. I believe in the power of your wife's love. You are a lucky man. I know the odds....yes, incarceration destroys families...but NOT ALL families.

Continue to seek Johnny...and you will find.
John Pfister
Newburgh, Indiana

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