2007-07-30 - 6:32 p.m.
I realize I sought to become a lawyer to achieve social good.
I sought to be a lawyer to strive to make the world a better place.
I sought to be a lawyer to fight for the dignity of marginalized people to have basic rights of life met. It was the immigrant population that I was inspired by in realizing there were those here in our amazingly progressive developed country who lived among us and sturuggled for their very subsistance.
I realize I wanted to become a lawyer to become and activist.
I guess seeing Rachel Corrie made me realize that.
I realize most lawyers see themselves as limited by precedent.
I see myself as one who has the ability to challenge precedent. Why practice law if you don't hope to SET precedent? What is the point of practicing law but the intentional shaping of social norms such that we better the world?
I see the role of a lawyer as one who can SHAPE public policy for the greater good.
I never thought it would be MY OWN CASE in which I see this as a possibility.
YEt I do.
AND I BELIEVE in that possibility.
I saw the play Rachel Corrie last night.
It inspires me to think that we can each affect change, and that it is not futile to keep trying in our world. I think that is the value of the message of Rachel Corrie. I think you can look at either side of the Palestinian Israli conflict and discover the dignity and humanity of the individuals. When she was talking of how violating anyone's right to produce food for their family , I couldn't help in that moment but to think of when my husband picked up the tractor immediately after I expressed on the phone that I was excited the tiller fit the tractor
I couldn't help but think of how the farmer that came to ostensibly help pulled that rototiller out onto the lawn saying he would hook it up to his PTO, yet he never did and it sat there and would have rusted to be rendered useless.... I covered it with a tarp... but if it is rusted I get the bill...
I couldn't help but think that my efforts would not be wasted to call attention to the fact that in our modern world in this rich developed country individual freedoms are honored to the point such that akin to warfare economic sabatoge on the abilty to feed my family has been used against me in this twisted manner.
I didn't want to talk politics, I didn't want to dwell on these attempts to victimize me, I didn't want to feel that tension in my back and leave in a sober mood after leaving the show. So I relaxed over a nice dinner and decompressed and enjoyed lamb and wine and chocolate cake and was quiet in reflecting.
I was glad my company last night allowed me that quiet enjoyment without having to analyze or talk or react in the moment. I was so grateful for the moment of Peaceful companionship. I had to have that reflection before I could react to what I heard and saw.
For me there was much more in Rachel Corrie that I identified with than I could have imagined.
For me the encouragement to believe one small voice can affect a change was worth hearing.
Maybe she didn't do that , yet maybe she will have, if her words inspire even one person.
Today I wrote an e-mail to try to convince my attornys I have now retained that they really CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and that EVEN THOUGH It seems unlikely THEY CAN effectivelty run what the mainstream thinks of as a crazy argument.
Heck... all great leaders and those who effect change are seen as nuts initially.
I know that. I guess that was why one of the only things I said immediately after seeing RACHEL CORRIE was asking of the question of whether Rachel Corrie came across as salient. As sane. I think she had a bit of a crazy faith and belief and imagination and idealism that the world really does see as crazy. She wrote with what sounded crazy imaginatively in metaphor of her room engulfing her in its red blood like decor... it was clear metaphor to me, but to one who is not a writer/artist comes across as crazy ramblings. In her activist some thought her extreme
I laughed as she indicated in the afterlife Zelda Fitzgerald was one of the six people she listed as wishing she could spend time with , I think along with Jesus and MLK and JFK if I am not mistaken.
I wondered if she too had been told by some she reminded them of Zelda. WEstly tried to tell me he thinks I am like Zelda which made me laugh.
I wondered "Was Zelda really crazy? Or just a writer??? An artist ? ONe who sees and has that fire to express even when it makes others uncomfortable? I haven't read much of Zelda but take note to do some someday. Did Rachel Corrie identify with Zelda?
Rachel's extremism indeed would make some think she was a bit insane.
Yet to think about this, she was an extremist because she risked her life to try to protect the one well left in a region where she chose to align herself with a group that took up a policial argument.
She risked her life so that others might live. It is the stuff of martyrs and saints, and crazy people.
To me the point of the politics is moot. I think it hardly matters the etiology of the conflict, in fact the etiology of ANY conflict almost becomes irrelevant at some point-- the point at which the cost of war and lost lives becomes more significant than any other interest. Who CARES who hold a property interest compared to the fact some people are not being allowed to have the means of subsistence, of food and water.
In the end, both in the world wars and in domestic ones, it is clear to me that property interests are upheld as of greater value than the basic human right to live with dignity of food and water.
It seems on both fronts, that there is indeed somthing askew here.
SO I identified with Rachel Corrie in a way I didn't expect. And I guess the fact of my family worried about my welfare, and saying it was like I lived in a war zone hit home for me personally in a way I didn't expect. When hearing of assaults on my physical well being, knowing I could be hit with a blow to the head really is not that different that worrying about the bullet flying. I realized when she indicated that more people die in car accidents (I think in Jerusalem) than bullets that here in the US the same is true. YEt these domestic wars that do end up in casualtys are not given attention. I felt akin to Rachel Corrie in that I have kept a journal as I too am outraged that anyone can IGNORE such blatant lack of respect for basic human rights- -that anyone can HEAR of a husband telling his wife "That is my water , you are not allowed to drink it' and NOT pay a damn bit of attention.
The domestic warfare is real.
There are casualties every day.
That there are those who don't believe I had true visceral fear when I realized this, when I had fingers around my throat, when I had heard the words " I could kill you, I hope you burn in hell" and that I then could be viewed as a court as not as credible as the purpetrator of such violence, indeed is scary scary REALITY of our world.
One I think I HAVE been called to expose.
Rachel wrote of the fire in her belly she couldn't contain. I get it. She wrote of her constant call to work for greater good, I get it. I don't feel like I am all that different from her. When I saw Beyond Borders I felt the only reason I was not working in a UNHCR camp was that I have the responsibility of being a mother. When I thought of Rachel I wondered that being a child, of being a daughter was not enough to keep her from taking the risk of putting herself in harms way. Then I understood why the clip from when she was AGE 10 was shown. Her parents SUPPORTED her and LOVED HER and ALLOWED her to actualize her potential in this manner she did and THEY were the real marytrs. They gave the world their daughter.
What an amazing thing they had the courage and love to do.
The world needs a few special people like Rachel Corrie. The world needs those of us who are brave enough, or perhaps crazy enough to insist our voices be heard.
I have a gift and ability I understand the way Rachel did. I have a voice and an experience to share and have a burning desire to do so--even when it makes me seem radical or nuts. Even when it might be a personal risk.
The company I had who took me to the show commented that the one thing he was taking away was her belief in herself, that Rachel Corrie asserted
"I am going to write even if it is mediocre!"
I am thankful that Rachel Corrie rekindled that belief in self in me and in solidarity with her and all those who believe no ones voice should ever be silenced for their views, for their voice being heard, I continue to write.