Category Archives: breaking chains

“Day in Court”

I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie. 


The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago. 

Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”. 

I blurted out, “15 years old sir”. 

All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall. 

The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows. 

I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager. 
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him? 
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key? 

What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing! 
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.

There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail. 

Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you. 

Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.


RIP GJR 

Peace. 

Living In Tension 

True personal growth comes when you choose to honestly communicate and understand those you have conflict with even if it means living in tension and being accountable for each of your own actions. This is when discrimination and self serving categorization of others ends. 

If you are of Christian persuasion, please remember, Christ did not come as more commandments on a stone tablet, rigid, cold and without feeling but, rather a warm, loving, and totally transparent being. 

I Am Sorry 

Three simple words , without knowing the context, have endless implications/applications. A simple accidental bump into someone, if you interrupt someone, a common courtesy, These type of apologies are typically immediate. The phrase is a polite gesture allowing us to coexist in a somewhat civil society. Making amends can also vary culturally. For example, in Japan the word for sorry is “gomen”. If you are at fault in a car accident, even before judgement and damages are awarded, you are culturally expected to offer what is referred to as “gomen money”. Those familiar with the Far East understand that “saving face”, a karma centered ideology, yields a population of humility and tolerance. I admire the Japanese tact that it in a sense, requires a time of reflection as well as setting the stage for the more western ideology of forgiveness. 
 Humility and forgiveness go hand in hand I have often wondered if it is possible to forgive without an apology. Additionally, must you forgive when an apology is given. For me I believe the answer is simple. If the apology is sincere, it makes it easy to forgive.
However, If insincerity is present does the apology mean anything? I remember when I was around 10, being full of myself, sharing with my Dad Tony, how someone had wronged me and the next day she had apologized to me. I smugly shared, “I told her I didn’t accept her apology”. He immediately scolded me and made it clear that if someone makes the effort to apologize, you damn well better accept it. Looking back, my not wanting to accept the apology was a lapse in judgment in the form of wanting to hurt, those that hurt me. The apology and her taking ownership was the key to breaking the cycle of vengeance and arrogance. We are human, as the Bible says in Matthew 5 23:25, if you come to the altar with a gift but have conflict in your heart with your brother, leave immediately and go to your accuser so that you may resolve the conflict, and then once again return to the altar with a clear heart. 

If an apology never comes? That’s where forgiveness in order for you to move forward is so crucial. 

Peace to you. 

The Obituary 


I learned that you are dead. 
Although words say you have passed, your cruel deeds committed by you to me as a child still lingered for decades.
You might have softened and treated your own children better than you treated your foster children. 
I had a condition you judged as a plea for attention. Rather than love and understanding you provided physical and verbal abuse. 
Perhaps you learned cruelty from those that mistreated you. I have pity for you or anyone in that circumstance if that was the case. 
Perhaps you thought you taught discipline and tough love. You were mistaken. 

I learned from you how it was to feel neglected and mistreated. 
Because others that showed me what unconditional Love was, I was given the gift of learning that not all in the world were evil and cruel. 

With this gift I have strived to the best of my ability to choose Love. 

Love has the power to break all chains, yes, even the chains that until this point attempted to bind me, even from the grave. 
Dedicated to all child victims and survivors of abuse, neglect, and those many many upstanding Foster Parents that instill Love and understanding to those in need. God Bless You. 

The Omega 13: “15 seconds” of time travel(or how Galaxy Quest saved our marriage) 

“God Bless my first wife”my second wife of almost 20 years often thanks god for her “breaking me in”. Broken in or not, one thing if we are being honest, most married couples/couples can attest to is, people say Stupid S#%t. 

In the 1999 Comedy science fiction movie Galaxy Quest, what looked like a not-so-happy ending for the heroic crew was reversed by the “Omega 13 “, a super-charged time travel device which turns back time, you guessed it, for 13 seconds. Who knew that a prop from a Star Trek spoof would be key to improving a relationship. 

The “Omega 13” Copyright by Dreamworks LLC.

The Secret of the Omega 13

When you activate the Omega 13 or what we refer to as “15 Seconds”

When one says “15 Seconds!”, 

1. What was said in the last 15 Seconds is immediately drawn into a black hole located ~6 degrees of off The North Star. 
2. You are immediately admitting you messed up

3. It allows you a second GO by rephrasing, or simply shutting up and hugging the other person.(Wearing a protective cup may be advised if you choose the hugging approach and your initial blurt was incite-ful vs.”Insightful”)

4. You break the tension in the moment because you start thinking of that ridiculous movie and still are amazed that this crazy tool works. 

5. It allows the other person to show mercy. 

6. It allows you to laugh 

I think the real reason “15 seconds” works is because we both are committed to it working. It’s a sign that when you are both spent and really don’t fell like butting heads, you are both willing to (queue Cher, try not to think of that song) turn back time, and find your way, Together. Peace. 

Friday Fictioneers:Let Your Heart Shine

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly photo-prompted 100 word writing challenge. Based on a photo prompt, the challenge is to pen a work of 100 words or less.  

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Word count 50

Let Your Heart Shine

Our hearts, just as the clouds, are shaped by warmth, shadow and darkness.

A passionate sun, blinding our inner soul with infatuation

Ill-prepared for the coming storm that if endured, tempers ones spirit with wisdom, understanding, and compassion producing a burning ember that is Love.

If you’re interested in joining, or would like to read Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/03/01/3-march-2017/

I Got Stripes

Visited my Dad Gerald last night in a dream. Perhaps it was brought on after watching “Walk the Line”. Dad admired Johnny Cash. Perhaps for his out reach to prisoners but I am sure for some of his wry lyrics in songs like
 I Got Stripes

“On a Monday,

My momma come to see me

On a Tuesday,

They caught me with a file

On a Wednesday,

I’m down in solitary

On a Thursday,

I start on bread and water for a while”

Or 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

“The beer I had for breakfast, wasn’t bad so I had one more for dessert”
Based on Dad stories it sounded like Johnny was singing his life story. 

In my dream, Dad was incarcerated and I sat with him and fellow inmates in a common area, almost like a barracks environment. What was different was that we were able to take a walk outside. 


The sun was shining on a gorgeous day. I put my arm across his shoulders, the sun had warmed his back and I could feel his loving spirit. We ventured up a hill where many logs had fallen.,He picked up a giant one and placed it to keep a cliff side from collapsing. We had a few laughs, shed tears of joy for just being together but also shed familiar tears that I remember so many times growing up when it was “time to go”. Regardless, it filled my soul. Peace. 

RIP GJR