We are planning the funeral for Roe today, eulogies fully ready, for we are certain the death was slow and painful and now all we can do is mourn.
Some we know will not attend, Brown out of fear, knowing the eventual consequences of this loss, Miranda because he is already marked, hounded by those in power, an easy mark.
Sullivan may be there, happy that he can go after them again if they even speak his name innocently or by mistake.
It will be a sad moment, one we have dreaded of late, one we thought would never come and we will mourn our dear friend Stare Decisis*, stabbed in the back by those who vowed to defend him.
N.B. As you may know or have guessed, I am a happily retired attorney, who was taught that stare decisis should be sacrosanct. Brown is the landmark school segregation case, Miranda the much eroded protection for those under police custody, and Sullivan the case on defamation establishing a higher standard that plaintiffs must meet if they are public figures. It remains a hallmark of First Amendment law regarding freedom of the press.
Stare decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means “to stand by things decided” in Latin.
He never imagined for a moment that he would be here, here of all places, on the precipice of an abyss the likes of which he only visited in nightmares.
And he knew, when he looked back he knew he would see the pack of Abyssinians heading for him, and that was another nightmare given his cat allergy and his intense Ailurophobia.
So there it was, on one hand the abyss, on the the other the Abyssinians, simply an abysmal Morton’s fork and he felt he had to face death, and in that moment the alarm went off and he was awake in a pool of sweat.
Describe this moment without use of word or sound – see where you are with eyes pressed tightly closed, hear a song with utter silence, taste the pure mountain air reach out and touch that which has no shape or form, no essence and you sit in the middle of reality.
A reflection on case 45 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
It is truly unfair, sucks really, that proximity has cast me as nameless, yet I am forced to wear all manner of terms that fit their mood at any given moment, and even then they can’t seem to agree.
You can say it is petty, but I am jealous of Titan, and hell even Phobos and Deimos have proper names, and they are a misshapen, dim pair. Maybe I should blame my companion who rejected a host of names, wanting to be called earth, but why do all the major planets have names while I am tagged with, nothing more than moon.
I will soon enough be in mourning for literature and philosophy for the moment is approaching when they will be lost, or I suppose simply subsumed, swallowed up in a cloud appearing momentarily then gone.
The day is rapidly approaching and if you doubt it for even a moment, go to your local library, if it has not closed, and note the diminishing number of books, replaced by computers, where everything can be found while the power is on, but just try and read there when a candle is the only light.
You really ought to pause and wonder just how different the world might be today if in that crucial moment things had gone in a wholly different direction.
A single moment can set the course for all of the moments that follow, a definite future plucked from an infinite array of possibilities.
I mean, of course, that moment when Mr. McGuire, in the guise of Walter Brooke turns to Benjamin Braddock, for what if he had said “I want to say just one word to you: Ecology” and when asked what he meant, he would add “There’s a great future in ecology. Think about it.”
Arising into night the departing sun tangoes away with its cloud, memories soon forgotten. Other dancers take the stage, now a romance, now a war dance, feathers raised in prayer to unseen gods. Night will soon bring its curtain across this stage, the avian cast’s final bows taken the theatre will darken, awaiting another performance, a new script tomorrow, but for this solitary moment of frozen grace, it is we who write the conversation, our lines sung by actors who know only nature’s unrelenting song.