Oct. 1, 2020

Brown Eyed Susans

by James Riva (author's profile)
This post is in reply to comments on:  One Morning In The Sea thumbnail
One Morning In The Sea
(June 12, 2020)


Very Pretty Picture of Yellow flowers with a green background.

reply ID 7irh

Spirit Quest

Dear Arreece,
Sorry I did not reply sooner. I've had some setbacks. I'm okay now. Let me share part of my spiritual quest.

I have been in prison over 40 years. Shortly before prison I was suicidal. I was convinced I was a food animal for vampires and I was going to end it and deprive them of any further food.

So I hopped over the railing of a large bridge. But I couldn't let go, so I went and bought some liquor. Then I got arrested for drinking while driving, (a state trooper saw me lift the bottle to my lips). In the morning they let me go—no breakfast, just a cup of black coffee. So I decided that part of my four mile walk back to where my car was parked I would walk along the water's edge of the canal. I looked around the rocks as I walked for a crab or a lobster I could eat 'cause I was hungry.

I saw a portion of a letter awash on the rocks. It was page three of a letter to someone. I scooped it up, very soggy, with both hands. I read, "...and therefore you should not suicide but become a teacher. Your unique experiences in life would make you a valuable..." and the letter disintegrated in my hands. It only existed long enough for me to read what I did.

So years later in prison, my therapist was explaining to me that the letter probable was in the pocket of someone who jumped off that bridge because that bridge was notorious for jumpers. I told her there's no way you're gonna convince me that wasn't a sign from God. So it began an unusual start to a spiritual quest. Eventually it led me to Islam.

I certainly do have an enormous amount of uniqueness in my life experience. The part of becoming a teacher hasn't solidified because of my physically being constrained to the prison. I can't even rely on the mail.

By the way, if you have tried and failed in writing to me, you can. If you are inclined, email the U.S. Attorney in Boston who is investigating systemwide abuses against prisoners by the Massachusetts Department of Correction. The address: www.justice.gov.usao/ma

Sorry again I didn't respond quicker.

James Riva W38533
1 Administration Rd
Bridgewater, MA 02324

September 14, 2020


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