I was thinking about my personal story, how I feel, and comparing it to that of the character’s, Andy, from the movie Shawshank Redemption.  The movie is among my favorites, with a superb cast and screenplay.  We can dissect the movie in many ways to relate to true-life situations and relationships. The character, Andy, digs for twenty-five years, a pocket-full of dirt at a time with a tiny rock hammer, a tunnel through the worst of shit to escape his life in prison hell.

In the movie, Andy, is an innocent good man who gets hurt and then has the misfortune of ending up in the wrong place, due to cruel people that place no value on his freedom or life.  In his situation, these bad people try in every way to break him, to twist things so that even he begins to question whether he deserves the punishment.  They aim for him to accept his misfortune simply as the way it is and to conform.

Doing his time, he does make true friends, and has experiences that he would not have otherwise on the outside.  He learns what he already knows, and because of his integrity, his hardships only build his already well-developed character.

The people of darkness that put the walls up around, Andy, could not see the beauty within the man, his heart or dreams, because they had never seen the light, and if ever they did get a glimmer, they only feared losing control to what they themselves could not possess, so they abused, intimidated and manipulated.  Andy went through times of great despair where it would have been easiest to forget himself, not to fight, but rather to accept his fate, and lay down his rock hammer to the forces that be. He did not!

Andy pictured, Zihuatanejo, an island off the Pacific Coast of Mexico, the deep blue ocean surrounding him, and the warmth of the sun on his skin. He imagined the boat he’d patch up, the business he’d have, the life, and the peace he would find.  He watched his own life for years in prison like a movie, knowing his experiences were real, but never accepted them as truth.  He would not die in the lie, nor give himself up to a fate others portrayed as his truth. He would not grieve his dreams as what could have been.  His fortitude and faith brought him home to a place he deserved to be.  As well, his heart opened to sharing his fortune with a friend.

Andy believed in his own truth and rewrote his story.  I will do the same, no matter how late it is in the game.


Maria Pisciotta

September 16, 2013