TEXAS DEATH ROW NEWS APRIL 27, 2019.
“Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” ——Eckhart Tolle.
Texas death row is a mad house in the best of time but here recently things have gotten much worse. A decade ago the guards who worked on death row were experienced and for the most part not lazy and willing to do their job. They knew they had a specific amount of work load to do which included giving the 84 men on each pod their opportunity for single man recreation, their individual chance to shower, and serve 3 meals per day. Once this was done they could sit down and not have to worry about anything else for the rest of the day. Those days are long gone. Today we have a bunch of people working here who intentionally find ways not to do their work. Twice this week the guards who work the day shift [1st shift] have left 20+ recreations and 60+ showers for night shift to do. Twice this week we have not been allowed to showER or recreate. Last night was more or less one of those night. I waited my turn from 6am until 1pm when these jokers finally gave me my chance for recreation. And I must say that I was not in the best of moods when I finally made it to the day-room.
But life’s funny sometimes – when you are experiencing an unpleasant situation and see no rhyme or reason why you’re going through what you’re going through, the Universe has a reason just around the corner for you to find. And so it was for me last night. After waiting all day and night I found myself in the day-room at 10pm which is usually my bedtime, but I was determined to get my 2 hours out of that cell I’m caged in going on 21 years now. After I’d been out for maybe 30 minutes a friend named Will who I’ve known for a long time said hello and we began a conversation. I asked him what had he been doing lately, any artwork? My friend often inspires me with his artwork and can get me to painting and creating art with his projects.
He responded that he had not been painting lately he’d been busy with a lot of correspondence with friends he’s in contact with. I know all about that and how much time that can take. We then began to talk about this place and how it’s getting worse when he voiced something very profound. He said, ” You know you can choose to focus on all that’s wrong in this place and how it’s awful and how your life is miserable and all that, or you can choose to focus on the good. Like friendships and peace and joy and happiness.” His response was pretty awesome and it even made me laugh it was so true.
This dump has a way of shrinking your world down into a 60 square foot area – the size of the solitary confinement cell you are housed in and if you allow that to happen? your life is not very good or very positive. Because when you allow these devils to do this to you the focus is on your environment – your death sentence and how they are torturing you for years, sometimes decades before they take your life from you. And when you get to thinking like that your life becomes a living hell. But here’s the deal and it applies to everyone be it in the free world or on Texas death row – we can accept the current situation we find ourselves in and work with it, using this cell, this time this solitude to work on ourselves and our issues thereby using it to turn our lives around. Or we can just waste this precious time that we’ll never get back and sit and stew in our own mess blaming our troubles and suffering on everyone and everything else. This is an absolute truth in this world and it is up to us to decide what we’re going to do with the situation. Because we might not be in control of what happens to us in life but we’re 100% in control in how we respond to it.
When my friend said this to me I asked him how did he come upon this fact? Was it because of the changing of his situation and how the clock is ticking for every guy on Texas death row as these devils do their best to inch us closer and closer to our planned legal execution/murder? He responded that for him life experience had taught him this and the resulting wisdom had come to him with age in general.
Personally, I know it can come from both. Having had an execution date and getting 5 days away from these devils killing me I know that pressure cooker of a situation taught me lessons like nothing else; and maturing has enabled me to learn many critical lessons life needed me to learn. Because the sea of suffering is endless but if we work with the situation and I choose to turn and begin to swim towards the shore where peace, joy, and spiritual enlightenment reside we can make a difference. If we can manage to do this we can change our life for the better and change the world we live in. I know, again I speak from personal experience and am so grateful for it. I got my two hours of recreation and got back to my cell well after midnight and was told by the guards “they” [meaning the supervisors who run this place] were not giving anyone a chance to shower – 60 guys on the pod were denied their opportunity to bathe on this day. But I just smiled and knew the Universe had used an unpleasant situation to remind me of a lesson I knew well and having found my balance and center once again I was at peace once again with joy in my heart and was cool with it. I’d go to shower first thing in the morning no big deal at all which was just a few hours away. The school never stops teaching!
LOVE HOPE PEACE & LAUGHTER!
Charles D. Flores #999299
Texas death row
April 27, 2019.