Picking Up Broken Pieces – Newest YouTube Video

Picking Up Broken Pieces

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This is the newest YouTube video with music for my upcoming book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside. The poem runs across the bottom. You can also read it right here.

It is my plan to put out a new video every two weeks, hoping that by the end of the year all of the pieces to my project will be completed and ready for editing. It has taken me three years to get to this point, having no idea what I was doing when I started. What a learning process. It has taken more determination and dedication than I thought I had.

For example – this video took 63 video clips I had to upload to my computer, after I found the ones I wanted, and then upload them into the software program I am using to make the video. Each video took 7-20 minutes to upload to the program. The clips then have to be arranged in the order I wanted and tested and retested. I’m still learning the word editing that has to be inserted into the different frames. It took about 20 hours to make this video. During that time I can’t work on the book or write blog posts. I can’t work on my music websites or keep up social media, so everything moves slowly as I circle through as much as I can in one day.

I don’t take any days off. There are no Monday through Friday workweeks. There is no paycheck for my efforts. When I wake, I get a cup of coffee that gets cold and I begin working. This project – for Jamie – and I don’t kid myself, it is for me, to show what I can do after more than a few years of making music.

If you don’t have deep determination to accomplish something, you may begin, but you won’t finish. You’ll put it aside after you convince yourself you can’t do it. If you can’t motivate yourself, or if you listen to people tell you that you can’t do – you won’t, and you will blame other reasons for why you failed. But blaming yourself probably won’t be one of those reasons.

But to do this I need your help – your support. I have a mailing list for my newsletter ITFO News. But I also now have a mailing list for my music and videos. You can easily subscribe to at at my website: Sonni Quick. When I come out with something new I’ll let you know. Listen and share if you like it. That is the best support you can give me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. People look at that number when they go to YouTube and determine if someone is worth listening to. Growing those early numbers as quickly as possible is important.

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My Name is Jamie – wordpress blog on Jamie’s life and info on prisons and the criminal injustice system

Sonni Quicks Piano Improv –  Additional YouTube videos of the music soundtrack for Inside The Forbidden Outside. New videos are released as they are made. When you subscribe and share, other people have the opportunity to learn about the book being written which will help Jamie start a life when he is released. He needs your help. If you have read his story on the blog you understand why. Thank you.

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Skunk Radio – Indie radio out of London. My personal page

Soundcloud – all of my music can be found here plus music I have personally liked from other musicians. You can also play my album “Stories without Words”

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the worldS

Improv Piano music of Sonni Quick – at Facebook . . . music news and other musicians

Twitter – My Name is Jamie

Looking Into The Crystal Ball – YouTube video

This is the latest music video for the book I am writing, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. The description at YouTube for this video explains in more detail what this video is about. I am writing a soundtrack for the book with a piece of improvised piano for each chapter that has the same title.  I am also making music videos as another way to promote what I am doing while I am doing it. They will be uploaded to You Tube as they are finished. There is another one there – “Waiting too Long”. Another one will be posted a week from Saturday. If you like what I have begun, please subscribe and share.  We all know that it is the stats that brings other people in to see what we are doing. The hardest stat is #1.

This has been a major labor of love.  I am on the second draft of the book.  I had no idea what I was doing having no experience writing a book.  Writing blog posts is not the same.  I have had to go back to the drawing board over and over, and take online classes. Gradually, I am getting better.

The reason this is so important to me is because it is a true story, taken from letters between me and a prison inmate over 12 years.  He is the father of one of my grandsons. He has 5 years to go, so it is s story still in the making. I started writing it because I knew, when he was released in 2023 he would be encountering an unfriendly world. He would not have the life experiences needed to navigate life as an uneducated black man with no job experience or tech experience of any kind. There was no “windows” in his life before. I am determined this book will open doors for him to be able to use his story and make money to survive.  Without your support it can’t be possible.  Only the power of sharing can make it possible. Below I have listed various sites were you can find him and my music.

 

My Name is Jamie – wordpress blog on Jamie’s life and info on prisons and the criminal injustice system

Sonni Quicks Piano Improv – YouTube videos of the music soundtrack for Inside The Forbidden Outside. New videos released as they are made. When you subscribe and share, other people have the opportunity to learn about the book being written which will help Jamie start a life when he is released. He needs your help. If you have read his story on the blog you understand why. Thank you.

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Skunk Radio – Indie radio out of London. My personal page

Soundcloud – all of my music can be found here plus music I have personally liked from other musicians. You can also play my album “Stories without Words”

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the worldS

Improv Piano music of Sonni Quick – at Facebook . . . music news and other musicians

Twitter – My Name is Jamie

Picking up Broken Pieces – Poetry

Broken glass

Picking up Broken Pieces

Pieces falling one by one
Scattered at my feet
I bend and try to pick them up
but I couldn’t reach beneath
the bottom of the lowest stair
where broken dreams did sleep

I see flashes of my deepest dreams
Too late to make them true
Time has passed I can’t go back
I don’t know what to do
Pieces crumble into dust
when connecting even two

They cut my fingers if I try
Blood seeps between my fingers
When I try to hold my broken dreams
the scent of memories linger
The pain, the loss of years gone by
The echo of no answer.

 

This poem is on the newest music video I’m making. It should be ready in a couple days – hopefully. The rewriting of my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside”  has taken quite awhile since I began writing.  Because I write piano music I began recording a soundtrack for each chapter. A month ago I started making videos and adding poetry, so it is a four part project. What began as a book on Jamie Cummings life in prison has become much more. Time intensive it certainly is.

I decided to publish the poetry so you can read it at one time. In the video you’ll see it one line at a time throughout the video. The poetry has the same title as the music, which is also the title of a chapter in the book, which is in the 2nd draft stage.

I have posted a few chapters I have written but I haven’t posted this one. You will find them on many other blog. If you do a search on the title of the book it will even pull up the first draft chapters.

The title of this poem correlates to the time during Jamie’s prison term when he finally has to mentally deal with, and accept, loss. In the beginning he had an unrealistic hope that if he was good he could get out soon. The 17 year sentence hadn’t really sunk in. I think that is most likely common thing with most people if it is their first time in prison. How did anyone deal with the ride to prison, go through the red tape – alone – and face a prison for the first time with men you had to present the right face to. Taking care of yourself now had a new meaning,

Losing a woman he loved, losing the role of being a father, quickly losing the support of his family, who no longer came to see him enough to pretend it counted. Three to five years between visits – maybe. He lost any type of meaningful communication with anyone in his family, and he never had any friends who mattered.  No one answered his letters. On rare occasions his grandmother wrote and told him some things that happened, long after they happened, but they weren’t the type of letters where he could write back and forth about what he was going through.

He came to the point of realizing he had to accept it and let it go. He knew that to keep waiting for someone to write, and making excuses for them in his head, had to stop. He didn’t want to think about why they were too busy to answer even one of his letters.  He had to make it okay or it ripped him apart. He didn’t want to think he didn’t matter. It was painful and he was lonely, but he had to get it right in his head.

People in the free world could never imagine life in a small cell completely a-l-o-n-e without anyone who gave a damn. Many of the men he met inside had no one who cared. And no one who helped get the small necessities that made their existence tolerable.

I got angry. I was angry at his mother for saying she didn’t write to Jamie because it hurt HER too much. 12 years, and it hurt HER. Damn, it makes me angry when I write these words. She said them to me and she also said them to Jamie during one of her rare visits. He lost everything and everyone and it hurt to think he was never a priority in his family’s lives. So he had to put it away. He couldn’t change it. It was these feelings of loss he couldn’t change that prompted this poem, “Picking up Broken Pieces”. The music is sad and melancholy. For me it tells the story. You can hear it here.

When I started writing to Jamie in 2007 how could I stop? How could I justify abandoning him, too. It was a commitment. I looked forward too his letters. We’ve sent over 800 by now. It is a diary of his life. It needed too become a book.

He is the father of one of my grandsons. That made him family. Okay, my daughter moved on. She wanted to leave him behind. She had to. 17 years when you are only in your mid twenties is too much separation – unless you had no choice, like Jamie. She later resented me for writing to him. She was trying to forget him and I wouldn’t let her. I’m sorry if it was painful for her, but I want going to stop writing fot that reason.  If he wasn’t able to have anyone in his life then there was no way I would abandon him, too. He needed me. Our letters were deep and thought provoking, making him think beyond what had happened and realize why it happened. If you spend a lot of time in a solitary cell and don’t have the right things to think about, you go nuts. Many do. It was important to me to teach him ideas about life and how to change direction. Him being okay and being through this was important to me. Out of 17 years has had only 5 to go. Only 5. A long time still, but time is passing.

Several years ago I started his blog: My Name is Jamie.  Many off the posts are portions off his letters. Then came the idea of writing his story. I did a tremendous amount of research and reading to understand our prison system. I also started the monthly  newsletter – ITFO News. (I’d publish more often but I don’t have the time unless I can get some – free – help from someone who believes I what I do.

This second blog, Watch and Whirl and trying to keep up with social media is all day ( night) project. In my off hours I write and record music.

This is what Jamie has done for me. He gave me a life – a profession that is much enhanced from what it was. We have been there for each other. There is much more to the story. If you haven’t yet, go to the other blog and start with the white pages at the top,

Enjoy, Learn and Understand. Become a penpal with an inmate who would cherish your letters about a life he can’t live behind walls. Most inmates are not what the media portrays.

Sonni

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If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: itfonews@gmail.com

My personal music website  – sonniquick.net

Jamie Life in Prison at Facebook . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison – blog on Jamie’s life and other articles on our prison. Educate yourself to reality, not what mainstream media tells you.

Sadly, This is a Trump Supporter Focus Group

This is an actual Trump Supporter focus group that was shown on Hulu. Shocking. There isn’t much I can say about this. I wish it were a hoax. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. These are real Americans participating in a focus group who think these questions are serious and they buy into it. How can we fix the dumbing down of America when there are adults who buy into these ideas as being feasible – and okay to do. PUT TOXINS IN CHINESE DRINKING WATER TO MAKE THEM STUPID?? It almost makes me want to give up. These people are really, really ignorant and unfortunately there are  lot of them who don’t care that we are being flushed rapidly down the toilet. These people actually think it would be a good idea to round up Mexicans by locking them in a port-a-potty, lifting them with cranes, putting them on the back of trucks and driving it back over the border. Unf**king believable.

Believing in, and following Trump is like drinking the kool-aid of Jim Jones, except you are taking everyone else down with you, too.

Jim Jones

A Child’s View of God

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Today I was talking with my granddaughter, Moya, age 9, when she came home from school.
     While I cleaned out her lunch box, she said, “My friends keep talking to me about religion and I don’t like it. There is no god up there. That’s silly. Where is ‘up’ anyway?”
     I asked her, “Why do you think kids believe the things they do. Where did they learn it?” I also added, “Where did you get the idea there was no god? Who taught you that?”
     I explained to her that kids usually believe what their parents tell them to believe. Our family, or at least the ones who are part of our lives, are not Christian. We are Buddhist or atheist. Other people might need something ‘out there’ that loves them and has a plan for their life, but we don’t.
     “Your parents didn’t teach you god was a real thing, Moya. You should understand why we don’t. You should, as you mature, think about the pros and cons of both. Question it. Then you can decide for yourself if it has value for your life, or if you decide you have no use for it you should know why.”
     “Ask people why they believe what they do. I did. Most people said it was what they were taught when they were young.”
     “Are parents always right?” she asked.
After thinking for a minute she added “What if the parents didn’t believe the same thing. How do the kids know who to believe?”
     “That’s a good question,” I told her. “It would be confusing if one parent believed in God and the other one didn’t. What if one person was Jewish and the other was Catholic. Both believe on God, but each has very different rituals.
     “Tell me,” I asked her, “Why do you believe there is no God?”
     “Because it doesn’t make sense. I’m not going to believe it just because someone else does. Especially because they can’t tell me why it is true. People make things up and say God did it. How do they know that? Or they say things like, ‘God says . . .” when I know he didn’t say anything to them. That is lying.”
     “There are many religions throughout the world.” I explained. “They teach many things. I believe the most important thing about any religion is that it teaches you is how to be a better person. Can you to learn the right thing to do? Do the teachings tell you to have blind faith? Does it teach you that you are responsible for your actions, and if you do something wrong, it affects your life?  You are responsible. Or does it teach you to pray to God to fix your problems?”
     I was a Christian when I was young and lived at home. I went to Sunday School and church was old enough to move away from home . I couldn’t see that it helped anyone. People went to church because all their friends did. It was another 15 years before I started studying Buddhism. That was 30 years ago. Even my mother left the church for Nichiren Buddhism.
     These are heavy concepts for a nine year old to wrap their head around. She hasn’t has much experience in the world. It would be great to have an unseen entity fix things without us having to worry about it. We learn from or mistakes. If we don’t acquire the wisdom to do things ourselves we don’t change.
     I have been told more than once that to get into heaven you only need to make sure to ask Jesus to come into your heart and all sins (causes you made) will be forgiven. Then you can go to heaven. People focus on heaven because they think they will be happy there. I never could buy that. You could be hateful, cheat, steal, even molest a child, then ask for forgiveness and you are saved!
     Will that create a happy life? I doubt it. It also makes more sense to me that heaven and hell are a state of mind we live every day.

     “Your teacher told me you were acting out on class. She had to make you sit in time out. ” I continued. ” When she turned around to talk to someone you got up as if you didn’t have to listen.” You got into trouble.         You caused it to yourself. You are responsible for your unhappiness. This is what I meant by cause and effect. Everything you do affects your life in some way, either in a good way or a bad way.
     “If you make good causes by doing the right thing your life will be happy. Not laughing happy. Good happy. You enjoy life.”
     “Aways try to do the right thing and learn from your mistakes. Be good to people. Treat them the way you want to be treated.” Moya was listening hard so I continued to try to help her understand.
     “Many people who say their life is about loving God believe they will be happy that way.”
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If I say anymore it to will be too much for her. But I’d like to add something else for the readers who have as account on Facebook. The God posters are getting to be too much. I can understand it on the timeline – to a degree. It’s your page. You can post anything you want. But respect that other people may not be Christian. If you want to send out messages through messenger to the people you are connected to, don’t just automatically send it out to everyone. It isn’t like your timeline where things get pushed down if you aren’t there to see it. 

Those messages that were sent out through messager sit there until you personally attend to it. My faith is Buddhism. I had to write back to more people than I cared to, asking them to please stop sending me Christian religious stuff. It isn’t appreciated. I don’t send Buddhist quotes or Gosho passages to you.

If I want to talk about Nichiren Buddhism I will write a post on my blog. That blog post will go to my timeline. You might see it if You are on fb at that time. But I don’t send it to you personally. If you want to send yours, go through your list and select those you know would want to receive it. Or make a Facebook page that expresses your belief and ask those friends to “like” it. Then your religious quotes will go to those people. Be respectful.

Waiting . . . too long – The Poem

book writing

WAITING . . . TOO LONG

Waiting . . . too long
Days that never seem to end
Hours that pass, am I that strong
I watch them curve around the bend
Many weeks, months and years
I watch the sky beyond the bars
Eyes slowly close to keep the tears
From falling down my face like stars
That light my life and keep me sane
While days that never seem to end
And wonder why I live at all
The only life I can pretend
Knees on the ground so I can crawl
Through these years that no one sees
Or cares to sooth this broken heart
I beg no more, I can’t say please
One more time or hope will start
I can’t beg to wait again
As minutes tick and days go by
Days that never seem to end
Beyond the bars I watch the sky.

By Sonni Quick copyright 2018

This is the poem that goes with the chapter in my book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”, with the same name. I recently posted that chapter as I continue to work on the book. A little father down the posts is also the music video made for this chapter. The other chapters also have piano music recorded and videos in the making. It’s the major reason why it has taken so long as I attempt to keep up my blogs and newsletter and the infernal social media. It takes tremendous time. So with patience I continue to work out the intricate puzzle pieces as I try to write a book work reading. In my imagination I see it as a movie worth making. Because Jamie’s life is width saving since no one in his life gives a damn but me.

Islamorada Here I Come!

At the cove in IslamoradaMessage_1513438270855

Islamorada Here I come. Winter in the keys. Oh yes. My son called me last week and asked if I could come to Islamorada, one of the Florida Keys, because the kids were out of school for winter break and it was longer than he thought – 2 1/2 weeks. Could I come down from the freezing weather in PA and help out?

OMy answer was, “How fast do you need me?” and started throwing a few changes of summer clothing in an oversized purse along with my sandals and hopped on a greyhound bus. A last minute flight on Christmas eve? Me and a million other people? I thought a bus would be less stressful. I was completely wrong about that and a story about “Christmas on Greyhound” is coming up next . It was a disaster and took a day longer than it should have to get there.

I left PA in the nick of time before a severe cold front hit the northeast. I HATE WINTER! I don’t like looking at dead trees and freeze to death outside. I got off the bus in 85 degree weather.

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My son lives and works at a marina. I dropped my bags and walked down the dock. Breathing in the ocean air was heavenly. When I moved from the keys in 2010 it wasn’t because I wanted to. I was sick. I needed to get near a good hospital. This was my first trip back. Leaving to go home will be hard.

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We went to his favorite restaurant at the corner for dinner that night, watched a magic show and listened to live music. Every evening we hear that night’s music playing. Yesterday we went to a cove so the kids could play and the dog could run. A great stressless day.

So if you are somewhere cold right now, enjoy the pictures.