Monday, January 31, 2011


When I logged in tonight, I noticed that this is my 101st post to this blog. What started as a way to vent a little, to throw words into cyberspace, has turned into being at least to some degree therapeutic for me. I can feel the pressure valve being turned when I write. There is a release for me. Whether anyone is following along really doesn't matter to me. Actually it's easier for me to think that no one reads what I write. So much of what I write is ill-informed. Not well thought out. Ideas that haven't matured all the way. Sentiments that I can't entirely explain. Reflections of someone who isn't so sure most of the time.

This past week I've been down. I'm not certain why. As seems almost commonplace these days, I don't often feel in control of how I feel. For someone who used to be fairly in control of herself and her emotions, this new way of being is often disturbing to me. I've been stressing about a choice I made awhile back that wasn't very smart. My brother turned 40 this past week - in a federal prison in Minnesota. A liberation theologian I have followed died.

Saturday I attended an ordination ceremony. It was for a guy I got to know as part of a few classes I took through my church body. He is a smart, funny, wonderful person. I really enjoyed getting to know him in the two very, very small classes we were in together. He will do a wonderful job in his role in the church, and I'm happy he completed his process. The service itself was incredible. It was joyful, beautiful, moving. As I felt the tears coming at a few different points, I wondered what was behind them.

I think the conclusion I have drawn is that I'm still so uncertain. While I'm fairly certain I am not called to follow the path of my friend, I still don't see clearly the path I am to follow. And while most days this fact doesn't really upset me, other days I just wish for some semblance of certainty.

Today I called off court. I have never done this. The only other time I missed court since becoming an attorney, my son was in the hospital. It just isn't something I do. I cleaned my house, scrubbed, did laundry, just locked myself in the house and worked. The distraction was just what I needed. To feel in control of "something" helped me get through some of my angst.

A line that was part of the liturgy on Saturday has run through my mind repeatedly.
"And for the grace of the Holy Spirit to amend our lives, we pray to you, O Lord." What does it mean to "amend my life?"

Attorneys use the word "amend" a lot. We amend our pleadings. We amend our plea. We amend our requests. We file Motions to Amend Judgments. It's something we spend a decent amount of time working on. In this context, what we mean ordinarily is that we need to change something. Whether we "forgot" to put something into a court document or we made a mistake or we simply learned new information that requires it, lawyers tend to amend stuff a lot. Something I tell my clients often at the beginning of a case is that we can "always amend" our court filings if things change or if we get new information. This seems to help people relax a little.

As I prayed that prayer, I wondered if I really want what I'm asking for. Change is not something I'm particularly adept at. Does this mean I have to give up my control? I'm fairly certain if that's what the prayer means, that I would probably pass on that one. I think perhaps all I'm certain of at this point is that there are cracks and crevices and weak spots in my heart. And that perhaps asking the Holy Spirit to amend my life has something to do with those places. It has at least something to do with allowing that spirit, that breath of life, to seep into those places. And it helps me to relax just a little to realize I can (and perhaps should) always be amended. That no matter how far gone I feel, there's still that possibility that my life can be amended.

And so, today I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm sad that my brother passed into his 40th year in prison. And I'm disappointed that one more "hero" for me is no longer on this earth with me. And I'm bothered that I can't maintain any sense of control these days over my emotions and how I react/feel about things.

But, still I will pray that the Holy Spirit amend my life. In all the ways that only She can.

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