Dec. 27, 2018

Holiday Blues 2018

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


Johnny E. Mahaffey
December 17, 2018

Holiday Blues 2018

Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries (or what-WOULD-have-been anniversary days) those are hard to experience from here. Usually I go a little silent at those times, but this year is different: I am writing and communicating more. Jamie had told me months ago that for all these years, she's been reading my posts, but during the winters I don't write as much, so she goes back and reads old posts again. I would have written more-- a LOT more-- if I'd known I had readers. That's why people should SERIOUSLY consider leaving comments.... I think it's odd how people are about comments: you can see a YouTube clip that has, say--4,000,000 plus-- views, maybe 300,000 or so likes, but only a couple thousand comments! That's odd, and says something about us as a society, in a way. In addition, Candice has expressed interest in my life, and it's inspired me to rethink my whole memoir idea. I'll now be posting excerpts from "Mustard Grits" after the first of the year. I've decided that, in addition to my normal posts, and art, chapters of the memoir, or pieces of them, might be--for some people--worth reading. So, look for that to be coming soon, and you'll have Candice to thank for it. I'm still NOT looking forward to the holidays. But, maybe friends and family will come through this year? We'll see. I'm discovering that I have a lot more readers than I'd originally suspected-- and it's nice to know--and I'm so very grateful for those over the years that have had the heart to leave comments. This platform has had a huge impact on my incarceration, and has stepped in with my rehabilitation when the state fell short. So, kudos to M.I.T and the Between the Bars volunteers for creating this site. The holidays might be blue ... but their not dark or dead.



Replies (4) Replies feed

FatherJohn Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 5 months, 2 weeks ago   Favorite

I am a regular reader and sometimes commenter on this blog site. I myself have a pen pal ministry that I would describe as a cross between companionship for long term, segregated, and death row convicts and movement towards spirituality. Many faiths, but one God, although through referrals my largest numbered group is Catholics.

The reason I might comment on a particular blog entry is to provide affirmation, alternative thinking, or discussion of injustice.

In my opinion, sometimes people (including myself) do not comment over a sense of helplessness. Helplessness in the face of bureaucracy, in the face of injustice, or from a sense of inability to change a profoundly broken system.

Helplessness is not the same as hopelessness. In spirituality, there is always hope. So for instance, even though I might feel helpless to heal your broken heart, I have hope that it can be mended. Once mended, a wound nevertheless produces scars.

Reading and commenting on blogs (again by opinion) should be a moral or ethical process...It should not be the vicarious thrill of absorbing another's experience of trail and tribulation, suffering and pain, of life on the inside. In other words, comments should give hope, or advice, or comfort...the opposite of this thinking would be that commenter who merely seeks to exploit the emotive feelings of resident while hiding behind a screen name. For this reason, some contacts and comments move off line and go to snail mail. This is "real" two way communication. We know your name, you know our hidden motives, no exploitive agenda, and so forth.

The point of this comment to you is for other blog readers to examine their own reasons for commenting. I am not claiming moral perfection, but I do strive to be spiritual and open. This is why I always sign my name rather than hide behind a screen name. If one is ashamed of their comments or their motives, hiding behind a screen name is amoral.

This entire comment is "opinion." It is the way I think. Others should think as well. A comment is not a two way conversation unless it is truthful and above board. In this way, it becomes dialogue, rather than mere entertainment to readers.

Be well, Johnny. Your day of freedom will come. I say this not out of any sense of knowing your legal situation, but rather in the spirit of hope I spoke of earlier. Helplessness is not hopelessness.

I remain, John Pfister

sheenalise Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 5 months, 2 weeks ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.

Johnny E. Mahaffey Posted 4 months, 1 week ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

FatherJohn Posted 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 3 months, 3 weeks ago   Favorite

The importance of actually honing the artistic craft...cannot be underestimated. Whatever manner of art humans choose to express themselves...practice so to speak (avoiding many a cliche) is a path to improvement and/or excellence.

Your prolific nature has seen a corresponding growth in hard to explain high-level writing. By example: cadence, rhythm, progression, rhetoric, reveal, etc.

Now there are genres of writing, and some of us practice specific types, by example, prose, poetry, to therapeutic self-help, comedy, etc.

Your particular genre, the truth as I see it, needs to be heard. Truth needs a strong voice...unflinching...unapologetic...acerbic. Do people want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Well, they are rare indeed.

Are you a train wreck Johnny? Are there some who do not want to see but gawk away anyway? It seems they would not look at all if it is that horrific. Shakespeare said, "me think the lady protests too much."

Have a good week Johnny, I remain, John Pfister

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