Intertubes and Balanga

So, in talking with a friend tonight, I learned that one should never publish original work in her blog. Who knew? Who knew that someone might be so stupid, so devoid of creativity as to actually lift something from someone’s blog and call it their own! I mean, I’m embarrassed enough to be publishing my own small thoughts… I can’t imagine publishing someone else’s and calling them my own.

I’m still conflicted over the whole notion of having to update this thing regularly. That’s probably obvious by now.

Here is what I know:

This week, I had to stand in the back of a crowded courtroom and watch one of my clients testify before a judge that he was a fit enough father to his two young sons so that he might win custody of them. Before he stood at the cheap wooden podium, his sweaty lawyer at his side, he taped a paper doll cutout to its side. There were three dolls. The one in the middle was my client. The dolls flanking him were his sons. I knew this because they were labeled in a child’s handwriting. The middle one read “DADDY”.

This week, I had to tell other clients of mine that I would be leaving them because I’d just bought a house and the commute was going to be too long and the workload not enough. I was expecting a congratulations or two for the house purchase… but not knitted brows and looks of sheer panic, the-don’t-leave-me-please-i-can’t-do-this-by-myself look. I didn’t give myself a whole lot of time to sit with the feeling of being needed. I am needed. Somewhere out there, people need me. They don’t tell me regularly. But they need me. It is an odd feeling to be reminded so suddenly that I am so needed. Everyone is needed in this same way. Somewhere out there, someone needs you.

This week, I got another horrible sinus infection and had to spend most of July 4th resting. I read The Poisonwood Bible in about two and a half days. What an amazing read. Africa. Poor, poor Africa. What haven’t we done to you? Africa calls to me and repels me at the same time. The idea that there I share a planet with microorganisms that eat away at the membranes of the human body makes me appreciate the balance of it all, that a millimeter or three of porous material holds my insides in, and the atmosphere over our heads.

I can’t even really articulate right now what it is I want to say about all this. In general, I’m still ruminating on the theme of feeling purposeful on earth. My mind fixates on endtimes… and not because of any religious proclivities. Maybe I have been reading too much Jared Diamond, or listening to too much public radio… but it’s all very clear in my mind, more clear than most thoughts I have in a day, how this all goes. I live in a wealthy country that can’t stay wealthy forever. I watch as standards change, as I am being governed by a patriarchy of scared old men who make frequent and hollow public statements. I am watching security tighten, fears rise. I find my hope dissolves a little more every day when I hear that a little girl in Egypt has died of a botched female circumcision, or that we are in the middle of a mass extinction right now, the fastest one the earth has ever known. The Holy Roman Empire is in the valley below me, and I feel one part Chicken Little, and one part soothsayer, a history book in the one hand, and a notion to go run in the sprinklers in the other. I keep telling myself that when the year rolls over and a new president is elected, my hope will be restored. Even I know better than to entrust my precious hope to one man. But I need something to hold onto. Until I find it in myself- until I go to the place inside where my science melts into faith, and my doubt turns over into hope for the future, the infinitesimal spot where life begins inside me, I look for it all on the outside. I am morbidly fascinated by the shipwreck, observing it from the shore, praying I had nothing to do with it, wondering what it means that I escaped.