WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Sunday, February 22, 2015

ON A DIME

Life turns on a dime. The pages of this blog in the new year have shown a much, as a seemingly never-ending litany of death an illnesses  are recounted day after day. 

From noted neurologist and NY Times contributor Oliver Sacks:

A MONTH ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out — a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver...but now I am face to face with dying. The cancer occupies a third of my liver, and though its advance may be slowed, this particular sort of cancer cannot be halted. It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can
Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.
This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).
I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

A beloved judge falls ill and has a serious operation and is hopefully recovering. Judge Morton Perry lives a long and productive life before passing away this year. Ditto for Judge Marshal Ader. And yet every so often we walk into the courtroom on the sixth floor once occupied by Judges Manny Crespo and Rob Pinero and we remember that there are no guarantees. The days of our lives are not fixed by anything other than….what? Luck? Happenstance? Providence? 

How can we believe in Providence when we recall the case of the innocent child cut down by the bullet meant for the drug dealer? The Miami Dade Police officer murdered in his car in a tragic case of mistaken identity?  The family killed by a drunk driver, when leaving the house five minutes earlier or later would have avoided the confluence of lives and tragedies? 

Is Dr. Sacks lucky to be able to confront his mortality? Are the precious days in which he will squeeze every ounce of juicy life worth the fear of the near, impending end? Or does the certainty remove the fear? 




Questions; we have thousands. Answers; we have few. 

It may sound trite, but we know this: in the end it is the quality of the life you live, not the quantity. The stand taken for principal. Character is celebrated when a small woman won't go to the back of the bus. But real character is what you do when no one is looking; when you pause as you rush to your next case and hold the door for the overburdened woman pushing a stroller or stop and spend a minute to assure an elderly woman that her grandson will be released shortly, or the money you slip into the hands of a hungry person, or the anonymous donation you make to the charity. There are the smiles on the face of children when the work you have done results in their father or mother walking through the door of home that night. The teenager who completes drug court after you refused to give up on her and the parent who can do no more than say a heartfelt  "thank you" when she has her daughter back. 

This is life. Not the life of your family, but the life of our work, and it is what we do that hopefully, when the end arrives, will allow us to say we took our skills and made a difference. That we squeezed from life every last ounce of juice and drank deeply and with satisfaction. It is what, we think and hope, will allow Dr. Sacks to live these last months, and hopefully more, with a smile on his face. 

See you in court. 




13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cheap, dime store philosophical tripe with just a tinge of racism.

Rumpole said...

Thanks for reading, Mom.

Anonymous said...

Well stated.

Anonymous said...

Small acts of kindness DO make a difference both to the person your kind to, but also yourself. Like holding a door open for a person in a wheelchair or walker .

Anonymous said...

Here are people and events that I believe are now mostly irrelevant:

Ho Chi Minh.
Don Shula
Edwin Pope
Dan Quayle
Pan Am
Yugoslavia
beta max
vhs
cds
esteves kefauver
larry king
dave kingman-baseball player
harold brown -us sec def
pet rocks & mood rings
4 leaf clovers
apollo 14 & 15
tiramisu
cinnamon to control blood sugar
Gary Trudeau
Simon Bolivar
Sen Bill Frist
Mary Ann McKenzie
Just say No
Former Calif Governor Pete Wilson


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah-
Chou en Lai and Dusty Baker and Tommy Lasorda and Rheingold Beer and sweet potato fries and salsa and Pele and Yuri Geller and Yuri Andropov.

Anonymous said...

I think the author is attempting to comment on the duality of nature and life and the conundrum we all face as sentient beings about our death.

In the tunnels uptown, the Rat's own dream guns him down
As shots echo down them hallways in the night
No one watches when the ambulance pulls away

and no one watches because we deny death as an eventuality right up until it occurs


Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light- which plunges her into darkness which is a symbolism of death in popular literature..

Outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz
Between what's flesh and what's fantasy
And the poets down here don't write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be

and here we see death specifically mentioned and the gap between hell- signified by the street being on fire and the flesh and heaven in the words of the poets and fantasy.

But interestingly, the poets who represent heaven don't do anything. "They just stand back and let it all be" which might well signify the power of death over life.

And in the quick of a knife, they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded, not even dead

Yet for all the death these words connote, the ending is somewhat less. Wounded yes…but dead no.
so in the end the words, which are far from life affirming do give the small hope of escaping hell and death and just being wounded.

Interesting.

Anonymous said...

How does this sweet, poignant post, applicable to our daily lives morph into such silly, mean-spirited posts. Rump, screen the crap out and exclude the haters...keep with the theme.

Anonymous said...

I think it's Estes Kefauvet. Servers is a guy I went high school with.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Kf3jJildM

seems legit for this clown of an attorney

Anonymous said...

WHIPLASH was my favorite movie of all time ....

Anonymous said...

All we have is the present.

Anonymous said...

How is Judge Stan?

Update?