“If you walk up to a man on the street and punch him in the face, you go to prison for assault. Do the same thing to a man in prison and you get demoted.” (Echols, 244)
“Time is marked with an hourglass filled with snow instead of sand.” (331)
“I am excited today, and happy. Not for any particular reason, other than the fact that good things are coming. Good things are always coming; sometimes we just forget it.” (340)
All my life I’ve heard people say “Why would God allow this to happen?” I think it’s because while we can see only the tragedy, God sees only the beauty. While we see misery, Divinity sees us lurching and shambling one step closer to the light. I truly do believe that one day we’ll shine as brightly as the archangels themselves.” (342)
I’m writing an open letter to Echols in my next post, but I couldn’t leave this one open ended without a little explanation. The quotes above are too breathtakingly beautiful for that.
I’ve just finished reading Echols’ biography Life After Death (2012) and despite the strong probability of me saying this about other books, I feel this one has somehow managed to simultaneously take my breath away and change my outlook on life. These quotes referenced above made me stop in my tracks simply at the sheer beauty of Echols’ mind, and his ability to open up after the ordeal he endured for nearly two decades. His view of the world, which I expected to be so tarnished by his 18 years locked in a cell and awaiting execution on Death Row, is utterly perfect in its simplicity and naivety.
We all have role models and inspirations in our life. Damien Echols: you are mine. You are the epitome of strength and resilience, and I wish you could see for yourself the effect your words have had on me, and my life.
Thank you for sharing your experience with the world, and with me.