Category: Reflections

A dream with a message for me

My last post I wrote was about being in here with a man who is accused of the murder of a friend of mine. Well, it has caused me some stress. And, last night I had a dream with my dead friend in it! And, it was all wrapped up in drug and alcohol use. I am going to call my friend “Red” for this post, and tell you about the dream. I would like to know what you all make of it. It was REALLY strange because him and I were probably more technically acquaintances than close friends, and I sure have never dreamed about him before. And this dream was one of those dreams that are so realistic that it feels just like reality until you wake up and realize it wasn’t.

So, in my dream, Red and I were hanging out, but I was using cocaine and alcohol, and Red wasn’t doing any of that.

At one point in the dream we were in a car and he was driving, I kept asking him how long we were going to be gone because I wanted to get back so I could keep drinking. And then, we got to a restaurant. Red’s cousin was there and Red ordered his cousin a whole case of beer, but Red and I weren’t drinking! I was so mad at Red and said to him, “WTF, Red! Aren’t WE going to drink?”

At that moment, Red looked over at me and he smiled, the sort of smile like he knew something so deep that I didn’t know, and like he sort of felt sorry for me for not knowing, but like he understood me not knowing too, like he had insider knowledge of something profound.

The whole time, he was so pleasant and happy. Much more so than I ever remembered him to be in real life. And, he had an aura of peacefulness surrounding him.

Then, a show started at the restaurant, people were dancing on stage with big snakes. It made me feel frightened. But still, Red seemed peaceful and happy and unaffected by the scary show.

I woke up then, and I felt really good, and even better about the situation here in jail. It was if I couldn’t feel so much anger at Red’s accused murderer because Red himself seemed so much happier and peaceful now.

This dream seems full of meaning to me. I honestly almost feel that Red came to visit me and give me a message. I wonder what any of you feel this dream could mean?

What do I have to be thankful for?

I am sitting here thinking about Thanksgiving which is this coming week and how much that was always a day that I have always enjoyed being with family. I will be missing all of it this year, but the past couple of years it seems that half of the time when it was a holiday or something I was in rehab somewhere anyway.

I am mailing this tomorrow, but no matter what day it gets there, if it gets there before, I want it to get posted the night before Thanksgiving, because I know that is the time when I will probably be thinking a lot about what I am missing on Thanksgiving, and maybe some of you will be too. So this is for all of us.

I see that a lot of mothers of inmates have been the ones that send me comments. A couple have told me I make them think of their own sons and daughters. When I think of my own mother I hope she is going to have a really good day tomorrow. I hope she cooks up a big turkey and all the sides and that she knows I would give anything to be there, heaping up my plateful. I hope after the meal there is nothing but huesos left (that is bones for those of you who don’t speak Spanish.). And I hope somebody helps do the dishes. I hope all of you do the same, and don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for us, your kids that are in prison. We are all OK.

Here in county nobody has said much but I am pretty sure we will get some kind of Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. And I also figure it more than likely isn’t going to be anything like the meals we are all missing at home. But it’s alright.

I for one don’t want to think about what got me here or what I am missing out on but more about what is going to get me back to the other side. I am going to be thankful I am given this opportunity to set new goals for myself and to spend some time getting right. I am thankful that by the time I get out of here I am going to be an uncle, and that my sister is feeling and doing good. I am thankful that I have at least a few people that have remembered I still exist and who care about me. I am thankful I have everything I need already, and now I have a chance to learn what to do with it.

I hope you all have something in mind to be thankful for too.

Happy Thanksgiving and Peace ~ Magnum

It’s hard to help a friend from within prison

Today I was sitting here thinking about a friend of mine who lives in Tennessee. She is a lovely person, beautiful both inside and out, and I consider her one of my very best friends in the world. I have met her in person only once, for a few days, when I took a camping trip over to the Tennessee area and into the Smoky Mountains. I was 19 at the time, and by then we had known each other for about 3 years. We met playing an online game together! But meeting her was awesome, and she means a lot to me. I wish I could help her more with some stuff she has going on right now.

At this time in her life, she has been having some sad times and she is having troubles getting over her first serious boyfriend. I can see she is stuck, not able to move forward and not happy with how she feels right now. I try to talk to her and to help her, but sometimes I think she doesn’t take the things I say very sincerely, because I suspect she thinks I may say some things just so I can move that guy out of the way and position myself in closer with her. But the truth is, I really think she is a good person and she has been a true friend to me. She is one of the very few people that actually knew me from the outside world that has written to me. It means a lot.

So today I sit thinking about her, and her situation, and how I can help her, as a friend, to deal with it. And I have a question for the women out there. If you have a male friend that tries to console you about a relationship issue you might be having, do you automatically assume that he has ulterior motives and that he is trying to get in good with you? Or, is it possible for him to reach out to you, and for you to take it sincerely?

The truth is, I even have to ask myself the same question. Am I being honest or am I deep down, trying to get in good with my friend? I think my motives are sincere. I do care for her very much. And, I want what is best for her. No matter what the reasoning behind what I say to her, I do care about her and I want her to be alright, not depressed about some guy…

What I wish she would know is, as I have come to learn in here, it’s all about being in the moment, and we need to try to find our own happiness from inside. Oh, I know she will be alright. She is smart and has everything she needs to succeed in everything. Right now she is having her own journey just like I am. Come to think of it, probably her journey is a pretty normal one compared to mine. I wish her well!

I wish every one of you well too.
Peace y’all ~ Magnum

Sitting in prison, daydreaming helps

It’s a beautiful day at the lake. My dog is with me today, he is happy, like always. Experiencing every smell like it could be the last thing he ever smells and the best smell ever. The grill is lit, and the smell of oak and mesquite is in the air. The day is more perfect than I could ever ask for. It’s a scorching hot day, one of those Texas July heats, but there is a slight breeze in the air. When that breeze hits my face I breath it in and feel the entire world inside of me. I feel the sway of the trees and know that I am a free man and nothing could ever keep me from knowing that freedom.

I hear my name called, and just as I turn my head to see who could be calling, all that beauty of the universe that was in me is suddenly gone, vanished just like that. Instead, I am looking into the pale face of my celly, his eyes with dark puffy bags under them from the lack of sun. A cold shiver runs down my spine due to the constantly blasting air conditioning as well as my stark reality. Everything here is white, not the glittering white that Jesus might have had around him, but a dull white that brings no excitement, or interest. I think they make it totally bland and boring on purpose to numb us.

This is the daily reality check that hits me while I sit here, waiting, letting the minutes and hours and days tick by and dreaming of that moment in time that my heart so longs for and my mind so easily recreates. Ever since I was a young kid, I have been a day dreamer. I know I was in trouble for it enough during my school days. Here, I find myself sometimes escaping my current reality with images of another place and time. Maybe picturing myself playing my guitar. Maybe on a stage in front of a crowd or maybe just around a campfire with a few good friends.

Sometimes the more down to earth dreams are the best ones, they feel so real. Me, with a wife and kids, and so happy to be with them and loving my life with them. Some people say that they try not to imagine the world or think of it’s possibilities while they are here because it is painful to them. They just stay in the reality of incarceration. It is true that I may miss home all the more when I have such imaginings, but my dreams drive me to be out again, and they help me push to reach my goals.

Sometimes I motivate myself to exercise by picturing myself being healthy, looking and feeling great, like a movie star! Hey, it’s possible, right? So why not get up and try to at least get as close to my dreams as possible.

So, today I say, I am going to keep on daydreaming. I am sitting by that lake with my good old dog, waiting to see my family. Maybe I will be sitting there for a year or a little more, maybe it will be four full years, but soon enough, I will be in that cool, clear water again with the sun shining down on me, and a whole lot of living to do.

Peace ~ Magnum

I am convicted and going to Texas Prison – a very real feeling sets in

Today is Nov 8th, I just got through washing clothes. For those who do not know, when you are in jail, you can either send your whites off to be washed by the jail laundry or wash your things by hand. I prefer to wash by hand. I never thought I would be washing my underwear by hand, but it’s actually pretty relaxing to just get lost in daydreams while scrubbing away, thinking of every thing I miss so much. Some-time, I even sing one of my favorite tunes to myself while I scrub.

To wash my clothes, I crush up one of the bars of soap that the jail supplies. I add a small tube of toothpaste that is also supplied by the jail, and a little shampoo so it will suds nicely. The toothpaste is the secret to getting the clothes extra white. I add all these items together and whip them up until the soap is dissolved. It’s amazing how white my washing comes out this way, without using any bleach!

Anyway, this last Friday I received my papers telling me I am ready to go to TDCJ. When I received the document stating my readiness a very real feeling set in. The feeling that I AM GOING TO PRISON.
The truth is, I am scared. Not for my well being but for the unknown. This is a new, unknown experience for me, and new experiences have always made me anxious. I just really want to get there and get the initial introduction to prison life over with and behind me.

I won’t be able to write anyone for a coupe of weeks while I am going through the intake process, but I want you to know I will be thinking of you all.  I would like to say I love every one of you that has taken the time to read my blog and support me. Don’t worry about me, I will be OK. I can hold my own.

I want to add a special hello to Kasey, I miss you every single day. You are beautiful, in every way, shape and form, inside and out. Also, hello to my mom and to my sister, I love y’all. And, thanks to those that help me with this blog, it means a lot to me and is helping me feel connected to all the people I care about.

Peace ~ Magnum

Illusions by Richard Bach

I recently was lucky enough to pick up a good book off the book cart. Actually, this is the 2nd really good book I have grabbed. I think generally speaking the donated books we have to choose from are not so great, or at least not my taste. There are a lot of romance novels which aren’t for me. I have read a few westerns that were ok, and Twilight, which let me tell you, I didn’t like it. I think that book is written for women. The one other really good book I read so far while here is The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I thought this book was awesome, and it made a big impact on me.

But anyway, I grabbed Illusions by Richard Bach. It’s a thin little book, and I really enjoyed it. I told my mom about reading it when he had our weekly call on the phone, and she told me it had been around since she was in high school, and she remembered reading it years ago.

Illusions by Richard Bach

The book is the story of a guy flying airplanes who meets another guy who is a messiah type. The messiah type teaches the pilot a lot about himself, and life in general. Here is a few quotes from it that made me think about things:

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels on impulsion… this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.”

This made me think of myself. Sometimes in my life, I have gone against my impulses to do the right thing. I have chosen a different direction instead of trusting my god, or sky, to send me in the right direction through my impulses which are usually well intentioned. I find it strange that my whole life I’ve gone against everything I know to be right, knowing exactly where it will end up taking me in life.

So, I guess in the end, I have acted on desire, and not really on gut impulses. Now that I sit here I remind myself I wanted to be here, obviously. We are all in our certain state of life because we chose it, and if we don’t like it, we just gotta work a little to get to where we wanna be.

Richard Bach writes “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

In closing for today I leave you with this final quote from Illusions. If you haven’t read the book, or did years ago and don’t recall it so well, I suggest you give it another read. It’s a short book but has a good message.

“Here is a test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” – RB

Editor’s note: Here is a link to Illusions by Richard Back on

The things I miss on the outside

Today I woke up thinking about what to write. “How can I inspire people?” I thought. While I sat there thinking hard, I realized that not every blog post has to be insightful and not every thing needs to have special meaning. So maybe today I will just write about myself and some of what goes through my head these days.

I’ve never been one to worry about the reason I am on this planet, I usually tend to just let the world carry me like a leaf in the wind. The truth is that’s probably why I am in jail and headed to prison, or one of the contributing reasons.

I find myself wondering sometimes, if I would have planned my life a little better would things have come out any better at this point? I really don’t know and don’t expect to know and this is exactly why I don’t like to think about these things. A “possibility war” starts to break out in my head.

Things I do know for sure is that I miss the sun, and so many of the simple things I took for granted a few months ago. A slow drive down River Road on a nice day. The sound of the river while sitting on the bank on a moonlit night. The way my dog loves me and is always happy to see me, no matter what. Or the sun setting on the lake late in the day.

Saying that I think of a song Jason Boland sings. He says “No matter how big the storms… the sun is shining somewhere down in Texas.”

I feel that right now I am in a storm in Texas. A lot of us are, those of us inside and outside too. I gotta work hard to get to that sun, but if I manage that, then soon I’ll see “The rays of light … makin’ me wanna turn the key and put down the throttle and get lost down 35.”

Peace be with you all ~ Magnum