I want to send my congratulations out to Albert Woodfox this weekend, for 45 years a prisoner in Louisiana, 43 of those years spent in solitary confinement, but a prisoner no more after his release on Friday on his 69th birthday.
“It’s an evil. Solitary confinement is the most torturous experience a human being can be put through in prison. It’s punishment without ending.” he said in his first interview which can be found here:
He says he made a conscious decision not to become institutionalized and whilst I have not had to endure the cruelty of years of solitary confinement, I can wholeheartedly recognise how important this decision has been in my life. I rely on the support of family and friends outside these walls and spend my time sharing their experiences, not getting dragged into the minutiae of what goes on in the various institutions I have been in over the years.
I was able to share in my Ganny’s birthday celebrations last week, thanks to a visit organised by my uncle. We laughed and made a whole lot of noise out in the visiting room, enjoying those precious moments sharing each other’s company, but how much more would I prefer it if I could visit them in their homes and not rely on them making the 2 1/2 hour journey up here to me. One of these days, God willing.
Till then, I’ll make my way through each day, the best way I can and hope that you all continue to share with me your joys and sorrows, triumphs and disasters and best (worst?) of all – food temptations that are out there, just beyond my grasp.