Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

April passages



My original intention was to take today off, to spend more time in east Texas. On Friday night, I got an e mail outlining something I wish to do today, so we decided to switch from a three day weekend to a two day weekend. This proved to be the right choice. Sometimes I think that the ideal weekend trip is to leave at dawn on Saturday, stay someplace on Saturday night, and then get up early on Sunday morning, drive home, and then spend the afternoon vegetating. We did not arrive home until 4something yesterday, and that's not quite enough down time.

Last night we had a Hallmark Channel evening. We watched Sarah: Plain and Tall and its sequel, as well as a show called "Long Shot", in which Julie Benz, best known as Darla from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show, played a single mother and horse trainer lifting herself up from adversity. I think that I like the book to Sarah: Plain and Tall better than the TV movies, despite the high quality of the acting on the TV shows, because the book eschews some melodrama, and just keeps saying the key concept: "She was plain and tall". I love that word plain--I used to say that I found most attractive those people who are "plain in the best sense"--comfortable with themselves, direct. Julie Benz' character sure overcame more obstacles than anyone not appearing on the Lifetime channel has ever hurdled. She's not plain at all, although she is in some ways "in the best sense".

Next weekend we drive to Arkansas, where I intend to attend my 20th reunion of my law school class. It's hard to believe that in May I'll have been out of law school for twenty years. Because bar exam results don't come out until November, I'll then have November as my "20th anniversary as a lawyer".

It's hard to believe I've been in practice for twenty years. It seems just yesterday I was sitting in the tiny law library of my first law firm, in the Southland Plaza in Dallas, pontificating to my fellow young lawyers about some issue of future interests in personal property. The other day my partners and I were discussing an elusive concept called the Rule Against Perpetuities. This concept is so abstruse that there is even a case holding as a matter of law that it is not malpractice for a lawyer to fail to understand it. Suddenly, from the depths of my memory, came gurgling out its simplest formulation: "An executory interest must vest, if at all, within twenty one years of some life now in being". I worry sometimes that everyone else has these cool, racy, inspiring things in their Id,and I have the Rule against Perpetuities.

I wonder if many other people will attend our reunion. Most of my class stayed in Little Rock or the surrounding towns, I think. The reunion is in the format of a "wine and cheese" thing, which is almost funny, because I rarely drink wine and prefer cheese to be on pizza. But I suppose this is what lawyers do.

Some of the neatest people in law school dropped out. They won't attend the reunion, I'm sure. Law school was funny--virtually nobody flunked out, but lots of people found it not to their taste. It was a school filled with questions but no answers. Who needs answers? They're in the library. It's spotting the questions that is all the fun.

The things I like about law after 20 years are the things I liked after 1 year. I like wrapping my mind around a legal issue. I like a solid cross-examination. I like that cases have conclusions--unlike in some professions, one learns the answer, and profits by the learning, one way or the other.

The things I dislike? Stress and human conflict, I suppose. But conflict is part of the package.

As is common to such times, I think sometimes of the things I could have done better than I did. Fortunately, I have before me a new set of challenges, and I can focus on them instead. I'm eager to see the folks I went to school with some twenty years ago. I always found law school satisfying in ways that undergraduate school was not satisfying. People had more intensity, and yet were friendlier. It was a maturity thing, I suppose. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents, as well. We'll stay in their home town, Camden, and then just drive up to Little Rock for the function.

I'n not much for two bits of travel in the same month, but that's the way it worked out this month. Next month should be a very busy work month, so I should enjoy my Spring sojourns while I can.

I love the way all that hiking makes me feel a bit high. I want to exercise more and eat a bit better. Maybe I'll be able to live out a few more "twentieths" on this anniversary or that if I do.
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