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Life is What Life Does
By Printess Williams, Prisonersolidarity.org
March 2, 2006

My Dear Brethren Abroad,

I am a 27-year old individual currently managing a sentence of 151 years. I am a product of a life lived deeply in the streets, where I was a passionate participant in what's referred to as "the game."

Growing up, I didn't have much communication with my parents. My mom abandoned me at three weeks of age and my dad followed the epidemic path of being a mystery existence. My lessons in life came with hardship and trials, and pain was my ultimate teacher.

In my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, I am said to be a very
prominent figure, associated with having indulged in acts of the more serious kind. Should the world be awaked to tell it, I would be called a man without heart, and without a sense of care or reality. The misunderstanding goes as far as to imply that I am crazy and have no compassion or regard for the life and well-being of others.

However, life in my shoes is a reality at heart that is quite the opposite of what many would believe.

At the same time, I can admit that my choices haven't reflected much of the greater me. Very unfortunately, my life has demonstrated expressions that don't represent my truest nature and spirit. Like many young brothers out in the world right now (your sons, brothers, nephews, etc.), all I wanted was a happy home and some sense of human connection capable of supporting my existence and validating my worth as an individual - some kind of father, brother, uncle, or friend. But unfortunately (and like many young brothers out there right now) loneliness, confusion, and an ill-balanced sense of identity were my only company.

Having been a serious natured person since the days of my early youth, I have often sat pondering this life thing. Looking into the lives of other men, I see reflections that are similar to my own pain, and at times sincerely wish that I could produce healing and peace for everyone. But reality speaks volumes above my fantasy wishes. In this institution I break bread with brothers on Death Row, brothers who have had such extreme experiences of trial and endurance that at times I find myself emotionally weighed down to the point of threatening tears. It is not because these brothers are something to feel sorry about, or because they carry themselves in a way that would promote such an atmosphere. No, it is the opposite. As a matter of fact, daily I see these brothers standing just as we do, motivated, determined, educated, and strong.

And it comes to mind that life is what life does.

I say this because I firmly believe that if a person has life in his or her heart - and I'm speaking of life in the sense of passion and soulful awareness, will, and flavor (as we say in my hood) - then, no matter where they find themselves in this vindictive, contemptible world, that spark of life will prevail over all circumstances.

Life is what life does.

When n full blossom, plants and trees produce seeds that
recreate life. As life is what life does, this cycle continues.

My brethren, life is what life does. Despite your situation,
you must keep it nurtured, healthy, and productive. Reach out to your sons, nephews, brothers, daughters, and fathers. Pass along that energy of life. Even in the darkest corner, life is truly as hopeful as you desire it to be. By all means, do not allow these walls to absorb your spark, your flavor, and your soul. For "they" win when our soul dies.

Reach out to your distant sons and brothers and try to water those seeds you have dropped. The words "too late" are nonexistent so long as you breathe.

Life is what life does.

Best wishes.

Printess Dupree Williams.


Printess Dupree Williams, # 459-524
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505

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