A Slice of Optimism

By- Nyki Kish

Much has happened in between my beginning this blog and now. Outside, my appeal is slowly trudging along. Inside, the prison has been shaken for the women and staff alike by Prisoner Justice Day events. And coming here as a 24 year old, I write this now, having turned 26. Reflecting on my age and the time that has passed I have asked myself-what are my dreams? Am I living them, have I achieved any of them? Does being in prison deny me my dreams?

The easiest part of blogging from prison is that I can intimately share my dreams and fears as if readers were pages in my diary. The scary part is knowing that my words do not remain locked in this small world that is my imprisoned life; they find freedom, they travel far and flow widely in the fast paced world I was taken from. But I guess that’s the beautiful part too.

I want to live on a boat. That is a dream of mine. A great boat, a galleon in fact. I want a Spanish galleon, filled with friends and comrades, with a deck transformed into an organic garden and a great stage where I can sing and perform for people in the towns we will stop in. I want to allow anyone filled with wanderlust and passion to make change in this world to come on board. That is a dream of mine.

And I want to change the world.                                                                                                                                                                               That is a dream of mine.                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dream of world where some people do not have to suffer for others to prosper, where our existence does not destroy this planet, where our actions come from a place of understanding, not fear. And I believe this is entirely possible.
Prison will keep me from my dreams of music and oceans and boats, yes, but it cannot take my dream of change. I can live this dream everyday, and I do. Yeah, I feel inadequate and afraid that I am not doing a good job and that I am having no effect, but I am trying. Every day, every challenge I am faced with allows me to act for change, or to act against it. Even if my small decisions do not make big ripples, I can smile knowing that I still have opportunities to make my dreams come true. And I do.

As I begin to write this out today to mail home, the fire alarm went off here. My pod and I watched as the entire prison was evacuated, except us, the max unit. We knew by the constant ring of the alarm, instead of the sectioned ring we are used to that this was serious. We asked each other as we watched everyone else inside to filter outside-do they not think we are people? No one told us what was happening or why. We all felt scared, and before anyone was cleared to enter the prison a voice came through the speakers telling us to go into our cells for an emergency lock up. I was reminded of Hurricane Katrina, where the New Orleans jail guards left the people to die, and those on the 1st floor did. I was reminded that people die all the time in prison, and that my life is not in my own hands. It made me want to be even louder. I want to go to sleep everyday knowing that I did and said everything I could on that day to emphasize that this world does not have to run on hate and fear. One day it will not, of this much I am sure. And until that day, it does feel wonderful to be committed to such a dream. Like a blanket of ease and comfort to hold me each night as I must sleep alone in this cell, I find so much peace from the fact that they can’t take everything from me no matter how hard they try. I can nurture my dream for change still, and it in turn, nurtures me.

6 comments on “A Slice of Optimism

  1. Great post Nyki. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. arkansastruthseeker says:

    Reblogged this on Upside Down.

  3. tam says:

    Not such a far fetched dream. When I lived in St. Thomas, I knew several people who lived on boats. Not the Spanish galleon in your dream of course, but house boats. I remember one girl I worked with that had a baby. And I remember thinking that was the coolest thing in the world – imagine, being raised on a houseboat. She used to take a dingy to work.

    You may not realize it, Nyki. But you are changing the world from behind those walls.

  4. Mike Wiesner says:

    Hi Nyki,
    Bruce Fischer and the good folks at Injustice Anywhere have introduced me to your case. To say your blog is moving and disturbing would be an understatement. You have so much heart, and so much strength. I feel anything I say, such as ‘never lose hope’ , simply sounds banal. You must endure each day, and then the next, and words of comfort and hope seem so inadequate.

    I was deeply involved in another wrongful conviction, two innocent students railroaded, just like you were. They had to endure, day after day, just as you must. The time dragged on, just as you relate so movingly. Good people let them know they believed in their innocence, just as folks are doing here. Never lose hope, you will be free, we all said.

    Well, IT HAPPENED !!
    Although it seemed like forever, both are free! Last July, I spent the day with one of those students, wandering the streets, having espresso in a cafe, eating a wonderful lunch, simply having a great time.

    Now you must endure, but your innocence is your strength. Many good people believe in your. IT WILL HAPPEN !! Keep believing that, and your heart and strength – and wonderful family – will see you through!


  5. Matt says:

    Keep dreaming. It was such a pleasure to meet and visit with you. You are important to many people. I wish for your release as soon as possible and will continue to tell others about you. I wish that I could do more to help you.

  6. birdanz says:

    Hello Nyki
    This is my first visit to your inspiring blog and it will not be my last. Keep writing whenever you can and keep dreaming. It’s a free as you will be someday.

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