I sit here in the middle of the pod at a table all by myself. Not because no one wants to talk to me but because they respect my mind. Respect the fact that I won’t let prison hold me back and I continue to drive towards my goals.
Everyone keeps the bullshit from around me. When they do come over here it’s for a quick embrace or to build on sensible things. If you’re not talking positive then I’m really not trying to hear it and don’t mind saying as much. And if they see me deep in a zone I’ll be left alone we can build another time. If you don’t know what building means it’s just an in depth conversation and exchange of knowledge. Sharing your view on a topic or a few, sometimes turning into a respectable debate. Yeah we have those too, we’re not animals you know lol.
As I write this blog in the mist of chaos of 80 other people in a closed space, two guys ask if they can play chess at the table. I tell them it’s okay and go back into my zone. Tuning out the white noise of prison and losing myself in my thoughts. See people often ask what motivates me? What is it that gives me the focus on whatever task I have at hand in the middle of all of this? I tell them that it’s dedication and determination to be the person that I know I can be. For myself, my son, my future wife, and all the people I hold dear in my life.
See the things that motivates me are various and comes at different points of time in my life. Allowing my mind to grow and build within itself by recognizing what it is I really wanted in this life.
My son Zumar was the first motivator that flipped a switch in my brain. Even though at first I didn’t change, the seed was planted and took root in my mind, though it was just waiting for nourishment. We didn’t know he was coming until I was already in the city jail for my crimes. And back then I really didn’t have an idea of who I was. I wasn’t living I was just existing like so many. Then Zumar was born on June 5, 2008 and when I first got to see him it was through a glass barrier. I couldn’t even touch my baby boy. I vowed then and there that by the time he was grown I would give him the support and boost in life that I never had. I didn’t know how but that was the dream.
The next motivator gave that seed a super food for growth. It was the fact that I can’t help my son, less anyone else until I could help myself. If I’m in here with the same outlook on life that I had before. Then I would only pass it on and this cycle would continue so it’s time to do something different. Dig deep and first show myself what I’m really made of. Second, show that no matter your circumstances in life you can make something of yourself if you decided to do so. This idea gave me the will to stop everything I was doing. It was like I changed my environment without changing my environment, because I changed the environment of my mind. The way I think, the way I reacted to things and interacted with the world. Now that seed that was planted by my son has turned into a healthy sapling with a lot of room for growth.
This kept me from going backwards and taking the easy route. Which would be to say fuck it, I have nothing to live for so what does it really matter. When really it all matters. If you’re still breathing you’re alive and your life matters and every life around you matters.
Then art came and kept a slow drip on my roots, nourishing this new attitude I had on life. It was a slow growth but it taught me patience, this was the growth of longevity. This was the growth that anchored my roots and began to make flowers bloom. Which ultimately allowed me to see beauty in all things; in myself, in other people, and in the world. See I don’t see art as an accomplishment I see it as one of my collective motivators. My next piece will be my best piece I say, it keeps my mind open to always want to learn more. It allows me to see the whole picture not just bits and pieces of information and discard the rest like so many do. Whether it be from their own biases or some other clouded judgement. Now my tree is ablaze with artistic values, it’s nourishing to positivity but burns negativity to ashes and keeps my tree alive with passion.
Now there is a new motivator in my life that has been added to my collective. She is my future wife, the only woman I wish to spend the rest of my life with. We knew each other when we were kids in TN. Back then we had no control over our lives. We were only 13 but she has always been a spark in my heart and now she has reentered my life. Her Christina and I love her dearly. We’ve both been through a lot in life but still we find ourselves with each other. She brings a fierce love into my life, not only the feeling of being loved but how to love on that level. Her just being here motivates me to be a better man. Her wellbeing and piece of mind ads fuel to my drive and her support makes my roots feel like steel.
See my motivation comes from life’s experiences not just one thing but the collective. Different motivators comes at different times and you need only but to embrace them. Each of my motivators gives my will a never ending fuel to be what I’m meant to be.
My son planted the seed, my self love made that seed grow, art anchored my roots and gave me my first bloom and my love gave it all a more solid foundation.
I am the artist R.Zumar and this is the becomings of a master.