Jan. 14, 2019
by Steve J. Burkett (author's profile)


(four page personal journal hand written in cursive)

Personal Journal

Depending on nothing one must find his own way. My tears are tears of bliss. I have touched transcendence in my life, when I first saw my Jeannie smile, when I first picked up a paint brush, when I first read my own poem. Preparing for death is like studying a road map, so that when we go on a trip we recognize the signs and know where to turn. Another year is coming to an end. There is so little I remember about all my time in prison except I wasn't home, I wasn't where I wanted to be with the ones I love. It seems the music was just too far away for me to understand the words of the song. It's cold this morning and all my bones hurt. I started to stay in bed this morning where it is so warm under a heavy blanket, where if I close my eyes I might be able to chase down another dream. I can always use another dream but this voice in my heat to start the day, to get ready for another sunrise. When you start your day off with the colors of the sun rising over the hill how can the day be anything but beautiful? I got a Christmas card from Mel yesterday. Its the only one I got this year :) I also got a B-day card from her :) I finished the painting in acrylic of the Preston Castle. It has been declared a land mark whet there in '62 when I was 15 got out in the early summer of '63 some 18 months. The castle was closed in 1960 because it was falling down so I never was in it. My cousin Jimmy was in the castle in the early 50's. Now they're putting millions into it trying to refurbish (renovate) it. I remember when Tim was there in '67. I miss my little brother. If you're not crazy when you're locked in places like this for long periods of time then you must be dead. I often wonder which one am I.

Happy New Year!!! I want to start off by thanking everyone at BTW for doing a great job. I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me in a message. Also a big thank you and I love you to me Jeannie-we'll always be one. A big thank you to all the good people who have transcribed my post and to all those who've seen to it that I received my messages. I'm not sure what the new year will bring- all the pages in my journal for 2019 are empty ' can I go back to 1959 and start my book all over, no I guess not, so it's moving forward. Where to I have no idea. I do know I'll be looking forward to every new sunrise, new dreams to go with old memories. I would like to hear from more people this year, more messages from everyone- more letter something to help me break up the boredom of this place. I tell myself I'm going to bet back into more painting this year, but that is something that can't be forced, a person has to feel it. I have been feeling the Preston Castle lately and I've been working on it most days, just a little at a time because my hands seem to be hurting a lot more since it turned cold. Right now my right hand feels like its in a vice and someone is turning the handle but I have told myself this year I will not use my arthritis as an excuse to be lazy :) Some kind of disagreement between the building guards and the S.E.R. have the building cops opening our doors for breakfast just after 6AM when breakfast wont start until after 6:30. It's dark and cold out there and some mornings it's raining. Myself, I refuse to go out until after our building sops have gone out to open the mess hall door. Already I don't have enough time in the morning as I get to be slower and slower :) New Year, aint nothing changed except the date on the calendar.

I have stepped sure footed and slow moving. I don't remember it being this cold here in years past. There were cold days, yes, but never so many in a row and the heater have been off since before my birthday. Jack Frost has been visiting every morning and staying until after ten even on days when the sun is out. We need to get some rain, that would warm it up. Nothing in the forecast except more wind chill :) I have a pair of thermal gloves and my hands still get cold, so cold my fingers feel like they're breaking off. Right now every few minutes I wrap them around the hot pot so I can write and enjoy my morning cup of coffee. In the afternoon I warm them around the hot pot so I can paint. In the evening I put on my thermals, my sweats, and get under the blankets and watch t.v. It seems so cold to have my hands out to read :) So how has your first week of 2019 been? :) Another bad thing about the cold is my nose runs constantly. You only get one roll of toilet paper a week here so you have to buy it, not bad only a couple of soups, but I'm down to my last soup now until someone makes canteen next week- I can find myself in trouble over the weekend :) The cold here is different than it was at S.Q. There we had open front cells, I lives on bay side of East Block- the windows were always broke out because people were hot in the summers ( I never knew it to be hot there) It was always damp- the fog coming right into your cell- it had a slow rain with wind a lot in the winter and breeze would blow right into your cell off the bay. When I was younger I don't remember ever really being hot or cold. I remember sweating sometimes and I remember being able to see my breath and shivering. When it was hot I would find a place to get in the water or go into a downtown store an enjoy the air conditioner, when it was cold just jump up and down and warm the blood :)

It's Sunday 5:30. It's raining a kind of soft rain just enough to keep things wet at least it's not freezing cold this morning. It rained yesterday and I stayed in and watched Wild Card Football :) That's my plans for today too. I'm not in any real pain today so I will enjoy myself. I want to finish the water color of the castle so I can send it out with the blog :) I got a new celly yesterday- his name is Will- he's 36 and a first timer. I'm not sure he's going to stay yet. I have to check out who he is, what he's done and who he's going to hand with. I have some real strict rules about who I live with :) This is about all I have for now so I'm going to get this in today's mail. Everyone have a wonderful year.


Replies (1) Replies feed

danielle Posted 5 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 4 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post. I really enjoyed reading your post. It is so descriptive that I could see the scene you were describing. You have a definite talent. I hope 2019 brings you happiness and peace! In my world 2019 is a definite for being better than 2018.. last year was one of my worst due to a near divorce between my husband and I. But after 6 months of marriage counseling, I think 2019 could be my best year yet! Here's to hoping that 2019 brings us both some sort of relief from the misery we've endures through out the years!!!

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