Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finding a Piece of Yourself

They don't happen very often. Maybe, it's never happened to me before.

Maybe they do, and you just don't notice them.

This time, it did happen and I saw it coming.

It is bitterly cold outside, and my hands are a little numb. They don't sell us hats or gloves in the TDC, but that hasn't stopped enterprising inmates from making both. I am a study in white thermal underwear.

It is well after midnight, and I have my lamp on, shining down on my desk: an island of putrid yellow floating in a sea of blackness. Open on my desk, one of my textbooks, recently arrived for the spring semester. Next to the book, a sheaf of papers: the results of nearly two hours of absorbing Makrov Chains and the minimax principle, numbers and matrices jumbled up into a semi-chaotic mess.

I pause for a moment and stop writing. For a moment, just a moment, I feel as if I can see myself from above. A quaint literary trick, perhaps; a symptom of an overly romantic mind with very few opportunities to stretch its legs. But for that moment - just a moment - I realize that I am exactly who I want to be. In that moment, I wouldn't have been doing anything else anywhere else in the world.

I don't think that has ever happened to me before. How odd: the boy who never studied has become a man who does little else. After the moment is over I go back to work.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, everyone. May your 2010 be full of epiphanies, and become the year where we all turn into what we were meant to be.

Some end of year notes

you can read a copy of DPIC's yearly report on capital punishment in America. Not that they projected 19 executions in the State of Texas. The total ended up being 24. Why anyone continues to low-ball the numbers around here is beyond me.

An interesting piece on the broken clemency system here in Texas.

Here is an interesting report on the economic costs of the death penalty in America, and how to better spend money.

And finally, here is the a link to the blog of a new acquaintance of mine here on the Row. I like his writing, and I really respect the way Roy handles himself back here. I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I do.

© Copyright 2009 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker.
All rights reserved.

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