Monday, October 1, 2007

first monday in october

the first monday in october is the day the supreme court convenes. i know this because there was a movie by that title about the first woman on the supreme court. the image of - i think it was jill clayburgh - striding resolutely through the inner sanctums of the Great Halls of Blindfolded Justice, black robes flapping off her shoulders seared itself into my adolescent mind.

for me, this first monday in october calls me out into the world... to a full day at the purple rose, and then to a coffee meeting with the Cosi Girls tonight. there are tasks i must finish, errands to be run, people and animals to tend, a day in "ordinary time," a day possibly dull and even tedious at points. i think of ms clayburgh, steely-eyed and stern. i think of the real supreme court, stepping up and sitting down to the Great Business of the World. there was a time when i would've wished to be among them.

but my experience has taught me that the path of Blind Justice is edged with blades that bite. personally, i've learned it's better to keep your eyes open literally and figuratively when you have to make decisions about anything, and does anyone really think that it could ever be a good idea to let a blindfolded person swing a sword? if it's not something we'd actually consider doing, why do we have her up on a pedestal as the image of our (goddess save us all) legal system?

when i look at the image of Blind Justice, i see an image of the subtle dissonance that snakes like a poisonous vine through our culture. if the image doesn't actually depict a good idea, why use it to stand for something we think is supposed to be a good thing? instead of ditching the image that doesn't make sense, we do all sorts of mental gymnastics and gyrations to convince ourselves that this depiction makes a Statement that Explains a Deep Truth and in the process we congratulate ourselves for being Deep Thinkers (when all we really are is tortured) and then we wonder why we're tired before we even get out of bed every day.

this is why i prefer to stay out here on the rim of things. what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in clarity and the Way of Open-Eyed Compassion is just a little easier to See.

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