Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Am Moving Forward

I took these photos a couple of weeks ago when I toured downtown and took over one hundred pictures. this was the old Stanley Mosk Superior Court building. Basically these statutes represent how law evolved over time. The last picture was the Declaration of Independence.

I thought the statues were intricate in their craftsmanship much like the laws that were created in this country.

Many people have written me to express their sorrow that my sister decided to proceed in the manner that she is proceeding. I believe it is unfortunate. Last year at this time, I remember seeing my sister and she told me she was on my side. Everything since then points to the contrary. I believe that she has deep seated resentments that have nothing to do with drugs, or this alleged incident. She has issues that she must work out. She has not.

I made the decision to stand on my own without friends calling her. I do not regret that decision. Whatever I am is not the issue. Whatever my mother feels is not the issue. My sister did not see what I wanted her to see in me the other day. I was disappointed.

When I came here last September, I believed that the court system was my worst enemy.

The system had its catch twenty twos and how I got ensnarled in the system was questionable.

However, I realized, and I said it in previously blogs, that I believed the judge was a fair man. I believe he had doubts about many things. However he had to go with what was documented. Whether it was slanted and misleading that was not his doing.

It was made clear to me that I was considered a monster. I was incredulous but those who win the battles are the ones to write the history. Time was the only thing on my side.

I had to endure the test of time.

I had discontinued a life of destruction before this happened. My friends didn't know. My sister did not know or want to believe it. I was fine with that because over time she would come to believe it. Mom knew it and as I have said a thousand times I heard those precious words"Walter, you have matured right in front of my eyes" as I began to assume more responsibities and take care of her.

As far as the system was concerned, I did not manage my life so they stepped in. Based on what the information in front of them, they had to do what they had to do. I understood that.

Over a period of time, the probation officer realized that I was no problem. Instead of seeing her once a month, I have seen her twice since this episode in my life started.
"Ah, I said. That is the first victory." Over time, my victories and credibility increased. I saw many people go to prison. I saw many people relapse. They had friends and support. I had only my will to survive. I was alone.

I began to meet people who, at first look at me with a leery eye, but over time. They grew to trust me, my word and the fact that they could entrust in me their faith and hopes.

I carried on. I entered the court room in July and the great public defender that was on my side said she never saw the judge so accomodating with respect to requests. He gave me more than what the Public Defender asked for. I deserved it. She was shocked.

I came back to Skid Row and met more people and they had trust and faith in me and they stuck by me. I did not let them down.

One of them asked a favor from his friend to represent me. The attorney did. He did me a great favor. He discussed the possibility, in court, of reducing my felony to a misdemeanor and afterwards, expungement. I did not know if I was going to be able to discuss that issue of my case on Thursday. I believe that if a public defender would have resumed representation of me it would not have occurred. There is simply not enough time in the day to give any case under their management time to scrutinize it in detail.
On Skid Row, I have seen many events of people who were reunited with their families. I have seen many times where a person was reduced to tears because they were rejected by their respective family members. Those are the times when the lessons of Skid Row that have been learned are indispensable. One does not realize that one has learned so much or has evolved or matured as much as one does. If you do the right things down here, those things happen automatically because you must push forward everyday. You must perservere. Each day will come. Time will continue. Time will change things and hopefully the perspective of family members. That is what you learn. Keep going.
I must have learned the lessons well because on Friday morning I did not stay in bed and mope and sulk. I got dressed and went to Chrysalis. I sat down and started looking for employment immediately. Yes, I was surpised. I guess I have evolved and matured more than I thought.
They say this process does that to you and for you.
I work hard to try and see my sisters point of view. I believe she has unresolved issues but I am not the arbitor.
I must continue doing what I am doing. Get better at job searching and submitting applications or resumes. I must focus even more. Waste less time. What happened on Friday has carried over into this weekend. It will continue next week.
Someone asked me what would I tell my sister if she and I talked. I would tell her that drugs blind people of the things they do and that they hurt others and themselves more than they ever thought. It is only after it is over when it really hits you. That is when it hurts the most. That is why so many people can not make it. It hurts so much they feel they need to dull their senses because the pain of understanding is wider and the feeling is deeper.
I would suggest to her to try and see the big picture. In the long run she will be hurting herself more than anyone else. I do not want her to go through the same things I did. It is for her to come to that understanding. Before Today I would have not said these things. I have been struggling with holding on to old myopic considerations rather than widen my considerations of possible concerns. I would vascillated for days and lose time learning and accomplishing.
I said this neighborhood is a university. The reading material is inside of yourself. You must find an objective lense, as objective as possible to view the material so one can properly diagnose the situation. One never operates in a vacuum. Is one thing to look at oneself, it is quite another to review family dynamics because there is so much information that is not known.
I hesitate to comment further right now. It is important for me to let time provide me with some insight and perspective. I am here for my sister if she needs me. As I am sure there are things I do not know as well that go back decades. If she wants to discuss them, we can. My goal is to understand and explore , not to accuse and indict.
I am sure there is some philosophical perspective that will emerge but for now I am happy that I advanced to another level at the University of Skid Row. I have learned alot about myself. I have learned to accept some things. Someone who I have always admired told me that my statement that I was pursuing Life was a emotional declaration. Indeed it was a statement that was the umbrella's tip, and beneath it were a sea of forces that created rolling tides of continuance change.
I believe that is what happened Friday morning. I chose to pursue Life instead of wallowing in despair. I started training for it a long time ago with triathlon training. It was the first phase.
This is a different one but oh so important.
I am coordinating a weekly Bike ride in downtown Los Angeles. I am also running as an alternate in the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. In addition to all of that, I will be searching for ways to develop my blog. On more than one occasion, I have learned that non profit organizations enjoy reading it. Maybe, Scribeskidrow can branch out into a niche.
Maybe some time of social network website can grow from it. Certainly, this experience has given rise to many ideas. I would like to be able to develop those.
So, I did not get what I wanted but in many ways I received what I needed from the experience.
I am anxious to get the second year moving forward. I do not know how long I will be here, but I want to squeeze every bit of learning out of this experience, each and every day.
I encourage everyone to pursue life.

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