Eric Genuis at Marion CI

Blog Nation,

Yes, it is yours truly, and I am at present sitting here with a very beautiful pint of vanilla ice cream with a warm apple turnover stuffed down in it (laugh). I know, I know, but to my credit I had a really nice workout this morning, so this is sorta kinda my reward 🙂 Am enjoying it for all the ice cream lovers out there 🙂 Anyway, it has been a while since my last connection with you, but I can assure you all I have kept busy with myself. Legal progress remains slow as ever, but I remain hopeful that things will indeed pickup for me, and when it does it’ll do so in a big way. Y’all just continue praying for me out there, because I need all the love I can get to fight this battle. I’ll do the same where you all are concerned because I know life in itself can be a battle for us.
At any rate, last week I attended an incredible concert here at Marion. There’s usually always music taking place during some event or other -everything from rock, rap, blues, jazz, gospel, etc.. For the first time, though, the Deputy Warden of Special Services, Ms. Wampler, invited an amazing pianist – Eric Genuis – into the institution, along with his three person ensemble (making the four of them -violinist, cellist, vocalist, and him, the pianist), and what a treat it was. I almost missed it, actually, because I had forgotten that it was scheduled for that day. Just so happened I was on my way back from commissary and it was announced over the p.a. system. I hurried up to take my bag back to the block and rush back to the chapel where it was being held. Surprisingly, the attendance was high, which was good to see. And while the music was different and far removed from what guys usually listen to around here, it was nevertheless, beautiful. Personally, I was already acquainted with this genre of music – even having some on my player- so it was cool to finally get to hear some live and in real time. I’m already a big fan of live music, so it was definitely a treat for the ears and spirit.

What was equally refreshing and spirited, was the fact that he interacted with, and engaged the audience. With this guy, you could see, feel, and hear just how passionate he was about his music and life. He was asked why he chose to come into a prison to perform, and his response was just so human. He said quite simply that it was about the music; sharing his music with the world, and that performing in prison was no different from performing a huge stadium. In fact, he preferred the more intimate setting because it allowed for the interaction with the audience. It didn’t matter that we were inmates or that we all have made mistakes in life, because as far as he was concerned, there was no mistake too big not to be forgiven. His humanity and spirituality was just evident, and his music was a beautiful expression of this.

He shared personal stories about his family, his life, which was pretty moving at times, For example, he shared how he and his wife lost a son just four days after being born; how he was able to hold his son for his entire life, and how his wife held their dying son while singing to him (she’s a singer, herself) and dancing with him . Out of this tragedy came a beautiful song that he wrote. He also has a child with Down Syndrome, and he shared how beautifully innocent and nonjudgmental she is (with anecdotes). For her he wrote a beautiful song as well. From these challenging life experiences, he was determined to choose to live a life of gratitude and optimism.

Again, the concert and his presence was a refreshing one. I enjoyed it so much I attended both sessions. Hopefully he’ll be invited back for a future event. Not just because I enjoyed it but because we all enjoyed it.

Outside of this, I am looking forward to getting out in the garden again this year. I have all my seeds, plants, and fertilizers for what I need to do in my garden. It’ll probably be sometime next month we’re able to get started; have to go through the standard security stuff first. Let’s hope for a good season y’all J
Well listen, this is all for now, my friends (and family). I have rambled enough. I’m calling it a night, myself. Tomorrow we awake and we do our respective dance to life. The key being…to DANCE (figuratively speaking, and otherwise). Until next connection, y’all stay beautiful out there, and I’ll work to do the same. Peace!



About boden

This site is developed and maintained by the friends and family of Shawn Hawkins in order to publicise his case and win his freedom after more than 20 years in prison. He adds to it as often as he has news, roughly monthly.
This entry was posted in Shawn's blogposts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eric Genuis at Marion CI

  1. Hilary says:

    Thank you for sharing that Shawn. It almost felt like I could close my eyes and get lost in the music too. How special that Eric should share as he did. Hope you soon get out into the garden. Being able to do that feeds the spirit too! Thank you for your generosity of spirit. Thinking of you. Hilary

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