1.      Always leave yourself enough time for things you have to do.  Don’t crowd your days, and enjoy the allotment of it.

2.      Appreciate cloudy days.  There is beauty in them.

3.      Don’t be afraid to die.  It’s a part of life—face each phase of it without fear.

4.      Things are given and things are taken away.  But it’s people that you’ll miss.

5.      You know why there’s a Golden Rule—don’t you?

6.      Procrastination feeds on itself, emptying time.

7.      There’s something sad in everything.  Just as there are good things and many other things that don’t even matter.  Feel them in part just as you know them in part.

8.      Forget what you learn so you can learn something new.

9.      Dirt doesn’t dig itself.

And his name was Schultz.  He was sick when they brought him on the train to Mississippi.  David and Johnny didn’t see him at first.  Time in the infirmary.  Maybe David wrote the list for him, later.  As something to read recovering from a long sickness.  After he came to the prison and heard David playing one night.  After he began whistling.  A low whistle, weak to be sure, the sound asthmatic.  Unlike that low whistle Popovitch heard that night in October at the Winter Palace.  But a beat, a rhythm.  Counterpointing David’s guitar.  Keeping time to the chord changes.

            Who ever heard of a German drummer?  To look at him, that first time—he looked about a step away from dying.  A head injury shot down over Southampton—a bad landing.  His eyes looked sick, and by the time he came to us it was one of those long sicknesses—you know.  The kind of sickness that kills even the fear…  He’d lost a lot of time.  I guess that’s how it happens.  You forget your normal life—whatever your normal life was.  The people in it long gone.  The places in it long gone.  And you wake up in a strange country.  Different trees.  Different skies.  But a toothbrush still a toothbrush.  A mirror a mirror.  What he saw in it tormented with familiar objects, but at a different temperature.  Measured in a language calling it all a different name.  Maybe when you wake up to this, remembering only deliriums in between, the only way your mind can accept this new world is to accept itself as new.  Everything of the past burned away in a fever…  And so he wasn’t even afraid.  He wasn’t disillusioned with his meager surroundings—the cell walls Johnny and I guarded.  He accepted the food.  The bed.  He wrote no letters to loved ones.  He sketched no homes from memory.  Only that whistle, that low whistle—so shaky you thought it was going to tremble out—that’s how I guess he started over.  That’s how he became who he was to us.  He was Schultz.  A Bavarian mountain boy from Munich who knew how to play the drums.  And a good drummer is the heartbeat.  It’s the life of the song…

            David Threnody, on prison time in Mississippi—from his journals 1948 to 1955

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