There's such an impermanence about things. Last week, a large San Francisco mega-sized law firm that has been around since the 1920s announced that it was closing its doors. I do not know anything more than what I read in the papers, but for all the world it sounds like it grew to giant-sized during the boom, and then began losing personnel when the recession began. Of course, by and large, the individual lawyers will come out fine, if this closure is true to past form. Undoubtedly, a few folks who once were affiliated with an "institutional" firm will be facing life without a firm soon. I wish them all well, and hope that all land safely. I remember being 25, and going to work for my first law firm. It seemed so large and institutional. In fact, it was not very large, had been in existence for only a few years, and it split into other firms within three years. The only "permanence", really, had been the illusion of permanence in my mind.
We've seen major airlines like United enter Chapter 11, and last night our local American Airlines asked its employees for billions of dollars of "wage relief". Although September 11 accelerated the process, the end of the full service airline as we know it has been inevitable for years. But I remember when TWA was considered so institutional that it was unthinkable that the day would come when it would no longer fly. Of course, moving from mundane business, who would have thought I'd live to see the Berlin Wall come down?
As unpredictable as weather is, perhaps it's the only thing that has a sort of permanence. The ebb and flow of the seasons. The breathing and exhaling and living and dying of it all. Someday I assume that life will end, and seasons will pass. But to my limited scale of view, the rain and the sun and the wind and the cold seem comforting, like a touchstone.