Jury Duty

DTS pg 117 from one single thought almost from one single word we can conduct the whole.

The above line was my favorite from all the readings so far.  I would like to cut the word “can” from it and have it just read “from one single thought almost from one single word we conduct the whole.”  That is very true for me and is something that TSK has been helping me work thru, though until this chapter it hadn’t been put down in one succinct sentence.  Habitually as I wake up I think of what I have to do for the day and conduct the whole forward.  I write the story before I inhabit the story.  I have been catching myself doing this more and more and working on letting that construct go.  A self-liberation, if you will, from trapping myself in a story, from waking up with everything already having “happeneded.”

Here’s an excellent example of something that happened a few years ago.  I have always kept this story with me and now, after last weeks reading, it holds even more meaning for me–

A few years back I had Jury Duty.  We were all crammed into the Jury Room waiting.  It was hot.  It was crowded.  I chatted with a few women near me but mostly sat quietly. One woman off to the side kept sighing… heavily.  Every few seconds she’d let out another heavy sigh.  Finally, when I had accidentally made eye contact with her, she spoke,

Lady – I decided that I was going to hate this day.
me – Oh really?
Lady – I wish I was at work.
me – You must really like your job.
Lady – No I hate my job.

Then she began to enumerate all the ways in which her job was awful.

me – At least you get a paid day off from all that craziness at your job.
Lady – Everyone hates Jury Duty.  I knew I was going to hate this day when I woke up this morning.

And so her story – already conducted forward from the very first moment of her awakening that morning – played out exactly as she had pre-written it.  She did infact hate her day.  I worked hard not to be brought down with her.

I have had only 2 days off in the past 30 days.  It’s been exhausting but I’ve tried to hold to that notion that I don’t have to write my whole day out ahead of time.  I can pause and remind myself to allow the day to write itself and give the witness/narrator a break… at least for a little while.


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2 Responses to Jury Duty

  1. Diana says:

    Hmm. Not exactly my point there Michael but I appreciate the Frog and Toad reminder. I’m not sure I remember how that story goes but I do remember that story.

    I was using a negative point to prove my point but a positive story would work just as well for creating the whole story from the very first thought or word. Personally I find the times in which I’m most annoyed remind me to wake up far more often then those in which I’m content.

    The lady in my story assumes the worst probably every day but she woke up THAT day in particular and from the very first thought in her mind – the whole story of her day was written. Could have been the opposite. She could have thought the day was gonna be totally awesome because of Jury Duty and I might have remembered that too being as it would have been wildly out of character for someone waiting to be called to a Jury.

  2. michaelg says:

    Hi Diana,
    Your remembered story about the lady who assumes the worst in every situation is really interesting. It would make a great little story or film, don’t you think? Did you ever read the childrens stories about “Frog and Toad”? Toad is the neurotic one and Frog is more relaxed about life. In one of the stories, Toad loses his Daily To-Do List and he just stands there on the path, where the wind has snatched it out of his hand, until Frog rescues him (I forget how he does that). I wonder if you (and all of us) have a daily battle between an internalized Frog and Toad. We try to be as organized and prepared as Toad, but the voice of Frog sometimes comes through and reminds us that there is more to life than ticking off items in our daily planners. –Michael

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