Waiting At The Amtrak Station

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Another month in the Florida Keys comes to an end and I’m waiting once again at the Amtrak again. It’s time to go home to Pennsylvania for a month. It’s become a way of life, going back and forth. I spend time with my son and two of my grandchildren and go home for a little piece and quiet and catch up on all the things I didn’t have time to do during the summer. Then I go back.

I love taking the train. I hate airports. I enjoy flying but the hassle of the airports is a turn off. I love being able to walk around or go to the dining car for a meal or the cafe car for hot or cold sandwhiches and drinks. The seats are big with lots of leg room and the restrooms are big. ( I should make a commercial!)

Right this minute I’m on my way north – been traveling for ten hours – 22 to go including a two hour layover in Philadelphia. That is my favorite stop. A huge historical building withwith  ceilings and quite a few restaurants and stores.

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I always meet interesting people. Today I met Vernita. (I took her picture before she knew I was taking it.) She said her name was biblical and she was the last of the line of women with that name.

We talked about faith – she a Christian and myself a Buddhist. I can appreciate someone who is sincere about what they believe without trying to say they are right and you are wrong.

I arrived at the station early this morning and so was she. We had a couple hours to talk – about her life and mine. She was traveling to meet up with her boyfriend who travels to job sites. Someone stole her phone at a cash register  and she was feeling vulnerablev with no way to connect. We will most likely never meet again but for a short time we were friends.

Sometimes we meet people and hit it off. We open up and talk like we’ve always known them. But maybe the next person, like the woman beside me now has no interest in sharing more than a few sentences.

What is it that draws us to some people and not others. This woman is going to New York so we’ll be traveling together until I get to Philadelphia and change trains to Harrisburg.

The train will rock me to sleep. Sunrise will be beautiful. I look forward to another great day tomorrow.

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My Dream Last Night Was Very Strange. . .

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I dream vividly every night. When I wake in the morning I’m usually in a dream. I can often wake early, get out of bed to use the bathroom, go back to bed, pick up the dream and continue the story. Sometimes I make myself stay asleep until I’m done with a dream and then wake up. Sometimes I’m awake in a dream and know it and do what I want – leave a house, walk down the street, open a door, etc.

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I travel a lot to foreign countries, but I don’t know which ones, walking, driving or flying through endless streets in endless cities. Or maybe walk through endless rooms on endless floors of a building. Sometimes I am the main character and sometimes I’m watching the dream.

I love to dream. I go to sleep wondering what the movie will be that night. Sometimes I try to program it but I don’t know if that works. I focus intently, though, on what I want to happen in my life. Meet the right people, or be in the right place to open the right doors. It’s interestg how that works. Some people never remember their dreams. What a waste of time.

I often write down the dreams that really make an impression on me, those ones that don’t fade all day. Why is that? What am I supposed to understand? My dream last night was strange. . .

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I felt the extreme need to hide from my husband. I “woke up” laying on a bed. ( not one I recognise) I had to hide – now – he was coming. I couldn’t move. I was aware of myself but was unable to move my arms and legs to get off the bed. I was scared. I focused so hard to move and slowly reached the side of the bed, rolled off and fell on the floor.

He came into room. I was so afraid he’d see me but he didn’t and eventually left. I woke up for real. I thought I was still sleeping. I didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t even picture in my head what my room looked like. A complete blank. I remember blinking and looking around in semi – light. Nothing looked familiar. I was more disoriented because I have been living in two places. One home in Pa and one in the Fl Keys. I don’t remember ever feeling so confused. Minutes went by until I sorted out that I was in Florida.

I’m sure many people have experienced being unable to move. I had a tiny taste of what it feels like to be paralyzed. It is not a pleasant feeling.

Tonight is another opportunity to dream again. I wonder where I’ll go.

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The Other Side of The Story

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From the time we were born, the way we thought and the views we eventually held were drilled into us by family and friends in our community. We were not taught the other side of the story. We learned our truths by listening to the adults who cared for us. Parental truths were the only truths. Their views about all aspects of life became our view until we were mature enough to form our own ideas. The ideas were often not our own.

Some people have a strong need to belong with a need for approval that can be stronger than the desire to think independently. Our personal ideas are pushed aside. Conforming to the people around you, reinforced by the news we read or the media we continually watched until it eventually gets imprinted on our brain as THE truth. The ONLY truth. It becomes safer to agree with those we are bonded to than to independently say, “But I read . . . and it makes sense that . . .” because no one would have listened or thought our idea to be credible.

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Is one truth right and the other wrong? Not necessarily, because many views about life are hypothetical, where reality only lives inside our mind. Our views are what we hope to be true. It gives us comfort. For example, is there such a place as heaven? How do you know one way or the other? You read about it in a book called the Bible, written by man? You have been told it is God’s word? Who says so? Man says it is God’s word. You believe it because you want to believe it, although there is no proof. You can believe it is true but that does not make it true. Other people who do not believe in God defend their right to believe something different. They have the right to their belief. If it goes against what some people think, it brings hostility, name calling, negative criticism and possibly the loss of family. Nothing is accomplished. No one has changed their mind.

Convincing someone to listen when they don’t want to hear your opinion can cause permanent rifts in your relationship. Inability to listen can keep you from developing your personality and stop you from openly exploring new ideas. What you think is only important to you and people who agree with you. It does not make you right nor give you right to impose what you believe on others.

What is right for one person might not be right for another. Problems emerge when parents or leaders of a community or country try to force people to accept only one truth and punish those who don’t adhere to that truth. Taking away someone’s individuality, or the freedom to decide what is right for them causes resentment and sometimes violence.

Raised with this attitude we often don’t learn there are two sides to every story. When we become convinced there is only one truth we don’t even want to learn there could be another possibility, because we think it couldn’t be true, so why hear it? If we begin to question what we believe to be true, we might have to ask questions from the people around us. It’s easier to go with the flow than rock the boat. There is often little respect or tolerance for people who don’t think the way we do, no matter whose “side” you are on.

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Source credit: stopthecrime.net

This holds true for any idea that can be highly charged at the opposite ends of belief. When you think you are right; in fact, you know you are right, it leaves little room in your mind for discussion. You lose friends and alienate family members. How could they not believe everything you told them? How could you possibly sit at the same table and have a meal together if you both don’t believe the same thing?

Religion, politics, racial superiority or any controversial subject; no matter what we believe to be true, if confronted, we dig our heels in to uphold our truths, even at the risk of impacting our lives by losing people we love. But it’s their own fault, right? They could have listened to us and learned, we think, as we tell them how wrong they are.

If the media we watch or read only reinforced one side of the story over and over, not putting forth a balanced view, it becomes the only truth in our mind, whether it is true or not. Nothing else is worth hearing because we assume it is all lies. But if we don’t compare all sides of a story how can we discern the truth? Yet the person giving the other side is mocked and called names. Did they deserved that?

The people who originally left England, who later came by boat from Holland, left because of religious persecution. If you did not believe the truth of the Church of England you would be persecuted and likely killed. People believed out of fear and because they were avowed nothing else – until Martin Luther. People wanted the freedom to believe and practice what they chose to think of as truth, not be told what to believe or be burned at the stake as a heretic.

The Church of England used religion as a means of controlling the masses. It is disheartening to see America also use religion as a means of control, even to the point of some politicians wanting to instill biblical law over constitutional law. Do they actually know what they are proposing? Doubtful, but it sounds good to those who believe they follow God’s law. Imposing that on people who are not Christians is just as bad as what the leaders in England did trying to force everyone to follow the Church of England. It was horrible to hear a Republican Congressman say, during the Christmas season 2017, that he would gladly execute a homosexual. That really Christian, isn’t it?

Mistakes from the past have not been learned. Trying to force Christianity on the people by wanting to teach biblical ideas in schools regardless if the children come from homes who are Christian, is wrong. Too many Christians believe that freedom of religion only pertains to Christianity.  All Christians do not follow the same ideals. All other religions are not taught, yet all children are taught Christian ideas that is only right for Christians? Forcing it onto all children for their own good? The push for Christianity through the government means it is not a government “For the People”. Only a segment of society is Christian and only a percentage of them do more than just say they believe in God but practice nothing. They say they believe because they never searched for any truth. Most Christians couldn’t name the ten commandments.

People are taught and now think all Muslims are terrorists and many citizens have been harassed. Now people believe all Hispanics are lowlifes and criminals – because that is what our government says over and over.  Too many people have lost the ability to express critical thinking and only repeat what they are told. Christians have terrorized and killed many but no one has implied all Christians are terrorists. When the media tells only one side of the story people think it is the whole truth. They buy the propaganda. People get hurt. Hate crimes increase – even by those who profess to be Christian.

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Source credit: Positiveinspiringquotes.com

There have always been Democrats and Republicans. People have always disagreed and believed only the party they are registered with can take care of them. They vote against their own well being just because the politician is with their party.  America is in deep trouble because of they kind of thinking. Taking an honest look at the other side instead of instantly believing only politicians of their party means they are not being loyal. Their own media presents only their side of the truth, which is usually not the whole truth.

People won’t listen to anything except what sings to their own choir. Families are split. Friendships have been lost because emotionally, people are too angry over each other’s ignorance at not understanding the issues. Never in the history of America has there been as much violent disunity as in this Age of Trump.

People are taught and have been taught for hundreds of years that black people are inferior. “White People” deserve more, based only on skin color. White people are smarter. They deserve a better education, the best jobs and they place higher on the social ladder, as if they are special people.

“Black People,” they are taught, are prone to violence, commit more crimes, do more drugs and sell more drugs. All of this has been proven false. White people are equally at fault for all crimes, yet more black people are sentenced when they are innocent. Many white people refuse to believe that and think black people are only in prison because they are guilty and only the guilty get sentenced – right? They refuse to believe racism against people of color exists or that black people are unfairly targeted.

Collectively, in families, neighborhoods and churches, people are taught to believe the same thing. Religion and politics are mashed together. Some preachers endorse politicians when they should be impartial. What your preacher says is swallowed, hook, line and sinker. Anyone who doesn’t toe the line is ostracized.

Parents pass this way of thinking down to their children and instill it in them. Otherwise, it is inconceivable that white youth growing up today would embrace hurting black people for no other reason than the color of their skin. Young People join the KKK yet probably don’t understand it’s origins. Shame on the parents who teach this to their children. This way of thinking doesn’t make them superior, it makes them ignorant.

What is true is that white people have had the power and money to suppress anyone they wanted to, much the same way the rich feel they have the right to suppress anyone who doesn’t have the amount of money they have. Money is more important than humanity.

This power created an unequal social structure, which created an uneven educational system, which led to a prejudiced hiring market, which led to blacks having less money to purchase homes, and intentionally kept out of desirable housing markets that didn’t want black people living side by side with so-called superior whites.

Police raided black communities and charged many with crimes they didn’t commit; suppressed evidence and filled the prisons, which made stock holders of prison corporations very rich. Making money off the backs of black people had always been acceptable. Who was going to stop it? Elect more black politicians . . . as white people do everything they can to stop it.  They are afraid of losing their white privilege that they don’t deserve to have.

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Warping people’s minds into believing only one side of the truth is the whole truth has affected the pro choice/ no abortions allowed sensibility. It will never be solved or agreed upon. Forcing people to adhere to one side has never worked. Each side is absolutely right in their thinking. To sway an entire community means alternative reasons are never discussed. The entire country will never be swayed or made to obey. People will always find ways to have an abortion of needed, even if it kills them.

Politics and religion fight on their own side of the isle when it comes to LGBGT issues like there is only one right answer and everyone else is wrong. The emotion is high, so angry, that people are driven to commit hate crimes.

The truth is out there, but if you already believe you know the truth and believe certain people don’t deserve humanity or consideration, then society will continue on the path it is going – its own destruction. It will become too late to change.

We all need to take a step back and realize we don’t have all the right answers. We need to question WHY we believe as we do? Who taught us what we believe to be right or wrong? Did we ever question it? Did we try to find the other side of the story?

The Only Thing in Your Way is Doubt

There is more on this blog post than a music video. Some people will even click “like” but never go to the post.

 

This is my latest music video. I put it on YouTube a few days ago. The music was recorded about 18 months ago. There will be other videos made from previous recordings made before I started making videos.  If you like it PLEASE use the YouTube symbol or go to my YouTube channel to like it or leave comments. Share. Help me push this project forward. The success will help Jamie when he gets out of prison. Half of the profit from sales will go to help him have a new start in life.  He deserves that after what our justice system has done to him since he was 16. Today he is 35. He is scheduled for release in 2023.

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This music, like most of the rest is for my book, Inside The Forbidden Outside. which is in the second draft. This is taken quite awhile to do because a chapter is not a chapter when adding music and sometime poetry to go with the title of the chapter. I can see in my head where this is going but it takes time to do it all ( and take care of my very active, headstrong grandchildren)

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Pa and The Fl Keys. Less than a week ago or so I finally got a piano for the Fl house, a used piano that is an earlier model of my other one that records exactly the same with all the same sounds ( and 1/10th the cost!) So the creativity is turned on and new music is being made.

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You are what you think.  You are who you think.  You accomplish what you believe you can.  The only thing standing in your way is doubt.

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I now have T-shirts and a totebag for sale to help raise funds. For ten years I have covered all of his expenses, but with promotion of the book and music, my disability check doesn’t cover it all and credit card debt is climbing.   I send him food boxes, money for hygiene and other items at the commissary, books, magazines and stamps. There is also a donate button if you would rather give a little money – anything from $1 up is appreciated more than you know. In the credits of the book will be listed every person who helped in any capacity. so please, help me help him. Go to my other blog to read chapters from the book and to learn more of what prisons really are – not what they show you on TV programs. At the link below you can also read some of his backstory.

 

Purchase T-shirts, totebag and donate at this blog post

Thank you

 

 

Geez, What a Busy Summer!

Geez, what a busy summer!  I think I’ve been turning around in ever increasing circles. I have found that it is impossible to do 2, let along 4 things at one time and when I decide which “thing” is more important I have to make myself not think about something equally urgent to do and just enjoy the moment of that ONE thing.

Today was the day to work on new music, I had a wonderful benefit to come into my life last week.  I am in the Keys right now, below Florida, for those from other countries who don’t know what the Keys are. It is a string of small islands formed from Mangroves. The Overseas Hwy connects them, ended at Key West, 90 miles from Cuba, where I had lived for ten years prior to needing a liver transplant and needing a better hospital than was available.  Enough of that!

Even though I was raised in Pennsylvania a long time ago, my heart is in the Keys.  Since my grown son moved back, I took the opportunity to spend 50% of time with him and a couple of my grandchildren.  But I needed a piano.  Not want – need. What do I do? I went on Craig’s list for the first time and there was my piano.  Almost literally.  It was an earlier edition of my piano. Complete with 5 track recording and the same voice sounds.  Different color, though, and  1/10th the price and the owner delivered it! Oh! Yes!  I am a happy camper now!

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This is what is on my list of things to be done and is in addition to all of the daily life things that everyone has to do.

1.Two blogs to upkeep and write for and all the social media stuff and communication that needs to be done to keep it going.

2. Three facebook pages. Personal, Jamie’s facebook page and my music page. Plus all the groups I’ve joined and pages I’ve liked that I won’t list. I try to get back to as many as I can.  People won’t pay attention to you if you don’t throw some love their way – same with the blogs. And of course Twitter.  Also Pintrest and G+.  I post on them but I rarely go there and build traffic.

I Thought  I’d add this. It isn’t a new piece, but I think I will be using it in my next music video

( and the list goes on! )

3. Annoying but important social media. As much of a time sucker that it is, I remember being a musician when there was no way to reach fans on a daily basis to let them know where I was singing.  Social media has done a lot for indie artists of any kind. Dinosaurs like me (over 50) were overlooked back in the day unless you were already well known. Same with the book I’m writing. If you weren’t picked up by a publishing house you couldn’t put out a book, and if you tried there was no way to advertise it like we have today. Without social media there would be no indie – anything.

4. I need to start work on a new music video.

5. I need to finish the chapter I’m writing for my book in the making, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.

6. I need to start putting together my next ITFO News so I don’t have to cram it into two days.

7. Forget email, I’m too far behind

8. Update and show the love at reverbnation.com – It hosts my website: sonniquick.net I can have my music reviewed here and listen to other musicians. I have another blog here that I don’t have time to pay enough attention to.  I can also check stats, growth, demographics and other stats and ratings.

9. Update YouTube, reply to comments and find other musicians to network with

10. SoundCloud streaming.  I push a lot to create a following at this site.

So where do I begin? Well, I guess tonight I started right here. It would e great to see some of WordPress followers at some of my other sites. 

All of this should be done every day – at least every other day –  and it is impossible. Tonight I took a little time and put this into a blog post because I’m not posting enough on this blog. 

I would LIKE to finish writing the chapters of my book and the music and get it ready for editing – by the end of the year. Can I do it? I’m trying.

I LOVE what I do and I’m confident that I can make this work.  Life is for the living and I’m living mine as thoroughly as I can and loving every minute!

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Seize The Day – ITFO Chapter

This is the current chapter of the book I’m writing about an epileptic seisure Jamie hand that resulted in knocking a tooth out. He has had many seizures – since the moment he was born, but he would have less of them in prison if the nurses didn’t deliberately withhold hiss seizure medicine often for days at a time. Is it just for cruelty, or is it a way the prison cuts cost with the inmates by cutting down how much medication they have to pay for? If they do it to Jamie, multiply that out over the entire prison population with many needing multiple medications. Man of these meds are very costly. Are they determining these inmates don’t have a right to life. Lack of proper medical care results in unnecessary deaths.

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison

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SEIZE THE DAY

As Jamie slowly gained consciousness he realized his face was smack against the cement floor and his mouth hurt. Keeping his eyes closed he took an internal counting of his body parts. Anything else broken or bleeding? What the . . 

d      Waking up on the floor was not a good sign.

      He couldn’t move. It took too much effort to try. His body felt as though huge bricks were holding him down. Every muscle felt like it had been run over by a truck, more than once. He’d been through this before – too many times. He knew he’d had a seizure.
     A voice behind him said, “Should we take him to medical?”
     Jamie wanted to shout, “Of course you need to take me to medical,” but his mouth betrayed him and refused to form the words…

View original post 1,937 more words

T-Shirt and Tote-Bag For Sale To Raise Money for Jamie

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My son Robo, a genuine Fl Keys boat monkey is modeling the new T-Shirt. Gotta give him credit!

This is a long road I have been on with Jamie since we met at the end of 2005. I have done my best to take care of the things he has needed in prison but it has been hard. So I had the t-shirt and tote bag made to sell for those who are able to help.

Jamie was picked up with friends and sentenced for a crime he was there for, but didn’t commit. He never found out what happened to his friends but he knew the one with the gun, who had joked about robbing the club they were going to had been in prison before. He was guilty by association. Jamie learned the importance of paying attention to the friends you keep.

He was a young man who turned 22 at the same time, in January 2006. What he has been through at the hands of the guards, the staff, and also some of the inmates is something you don’t want to go through. It was hard reading his letters knowing there was nothing I could do to help him – except be there for him. Family pretty much disappeared. I have struggled to provide him with basic necessities we take for granted. Now he has “only” 4 1/2 years to go before he is released. Now it is going to take more than an occasional $20 of extra food each month and also money to buy hygiene, stamps, books and magazines and pay for the lousy medical care he gets. He wants so much to survive and be a father to the son he has never been allowed to touch because a piece of plexi-glass separates them.

How will he live? He doesn’t know how to open up a bank account or sign a lease agreement if someone takes a chance and rents to a convicted x-felon. That can be difficult to find. There is so much he doesn’t know that he will be expected to know. How can an almost 40 year old man not know what he should have learned 20 years before? Getting out of prison after that many years is similar to coming home from war with PTSD and have to assimilate into society.

Jamie has epilepsy and needs medical care to keep his seizures in check. The prison medical unit has denied him his medication many times for days at a time and is often left laying, sometimes on the floor after a seizure, or he wakes to find himself in cuffs and leg shackles ( for the guard’s protection, of course). He sometimes seizes twice and to be shackled could mean breaking bones.

I have been working to get him help legally and to stop them from changing his records to indicate he was adequately cared for. I am not going to let him be a statistic. I’m sure, if you have a loved one in prison you have also been fearful of the things the prison staff can be authorized to do.

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My youngest granddaughter Moya

This costs money I do not have. Many of you have followed this blog for the four years I’ve been writing it. I have gotten many messages of encouragement to pass on to him. He is a kindhearted person who appreciates every kind word he has received. It is why I am writing the book “Inside The forbidden Outside” so he will have money and a chance to get started when he gets released. It will be a hard road. There will be a sequel to this book which will be what happens as he starts the process of being released and starting again.

This is why I decided to do something that could make money to help him. I am sincerely hoping you will help, too. Jamie wrote to me and said, “Are you sure? I don’t think many people would want a T-shirt with my face on it.” I told him, “You don’t know how many people know who you are, but they are all over the world!”

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Sharing this post will also help. If this works I will branch out to more colors. The success of the book ( when I get done writing and recording the music and videos! ) depends on those of you who care about the great number of people who were railroaded into prison by having plea deals forced on them even if they are innocent. I have to do everything I can to help him.

Free Shipping on domestic orders

Shipping for International orders will have to be caluculated on an individual basis. Contact me at squick@mynameisjamie.net and I will tell you what any extra shipping might be.

I hope to add more colors and styles as well as other items to help raise much needed funds.

I want to thank everyone for reading and sharing posts and chapters along with music and videos I record. It has been quite a journey. Thank you for helping me support Jamie, even if that help is just coming here and reading. The prison system needs to change. Hopefully with this book and the lecturing I plan on doing afterward will help change a piece of it.

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