Sunday, April 8, 2007

Nifonged in Nicaragua - Letter from Eric Volz

Inc Blog has published a letter that was apparently received from Eric Volz. It is unclear whether the letter, dated April 4, 2007, was sent directly to the publisher of the blog or if it is reprinted after appearing elsewhere. The letter reads:


A letter from Eric:

It has been some time since I have been able to get word out to tell everyone supporting me how I am doing and what is happening from my perspective.

I’m in a maximum-security prison about 20 minutes outside of the capitol city of Managua called “La Modelo.” My mother has established a good relationship with the warden and he has been very kind, allowing me to visit with her and my step-father on a regular basis. As you can imagine, these visits have been invaluable in terms of being brought up to speed on all that is taking place as a result of my conviction. I have received a complete update on what is happening around the globe on my behalf. The amount of support and energy going into freeing me from this injustice is simply incredible. From a grass roots My Space campaign, letters to senators, international media, people praying and fasting, You Tube video, and all the awesome letters of encouragement and support, my sprits are greatly lifted and my strength has been miraculously restored. Your all are breathing for me! THANK YOU ALL FOR GETTING MY BACK ON THIS ONE!!! I’m eternally grateful and feel like the richest man on earth!

I have worn a small thread necklace with 2 small square ornaments for the last 5 years without every taking it off. In a very mystical experience, a priest in Jalisco, Mexico, gave it to me. He told me as long as I took care of the necklace it would protect me. I grew superstitious of the piece and felt like it provided me with some sort of divine protection. I know it might sound silly to some, but I figured it was a harmless fantasy. It has survived 5 years of doing what guys do and the thing is still there as strong as ever. Needless to say, it really freaked me out when on my third day in prison after my arrest I noticed that one of the ornaments had fallen off. It was a sure sign that what lay ahead was not going to be pretty. After over 130 days in prison my necklace has taken a beating like never before. The water we have to bathe in seems to have somehow discolored the thread.

Last week after I was told about all that was being done on my behalf, I came back to my cell glowing, and decided I would restore the necklace. I utilized a combination of candle wax, the tag from my Nike gym shorts, some yellow thread and needle. It is not as ’stylee’ as before, but it has taken on a new life, as have I, and symbolizes my life force in the face of this new chapter.

The best analogy I have come across for being locked up here is that it’s like being buried alive. It is like having a cave collapse around you leaving just enough room to breathe and touch your toes. At first you are shocked and terrified. Time and space come to mean something totally different than before. You sleep a lot in the beginning. It is almost like a body function similar to hibernation that activates to deal with the extreme trauma. When you are asleep, you’re not imprisoned.

The physical and mental claustrophobia sets in hard and never lets up. I reached a point where I had no choice but to turn and face it, let it cut deeply, let if ferment, and then I was able to transcend the new references of time and space. At this point it becomes a state of mind called “doing time.”

I have buried myself in books, I meditate and pray, I live in my head and feel very centered. My spirits rise and fall. I refuse to join a gang. I maintain my independence and only socialize when I exercise and play soccer in the gallery. Despite the hardship and loss of freedom, I am developing. I’m developing in ways that would not be possible unless I was walking this path. I see this as a test; a rite of passage. I will not be defeated and I will see each and every one of you on the free side.

A friend asked in a letter, “Where are you pulling your strength from?” The answer is - all of you are my strength. The prayers, the campaigns, the letters, the movement - without you I would be lost.

I send my deepest and purest love to every person that reads these lines.

Eric V.

Tipitapa, Nicaragua

No comments: