Saturday, April 18, 2009

A New Beginning (No Ewoks)

What a day! Spring has finally arrived on the prairie and I celebrated by getting out my bike, dusting it off, putting on my helmet (as promised) and riding on the adjacent bike trail for nearly an hour at about an 8 m.p.h. average clip.

I went further west on the Luce Line than ever before, making it a mile or so past Charlie Leck's farm, and plan on pushing the envelope a little further each time. The bike trail runs for 63 miles from start to finish. Meadow Breeze Farm is just off Mile 12, giving me 51 miles to explore under Horace Mann's directive.

I feel great, having accomplished something I've been merely yakking about for two long,
i.e., getting off my fat butt and enjoying the outdoors. Frankly, it's a nice change of pace. I've felt rather paralyzed emotionally lately and forcing myself to get out may prove to be the breakthrough I've needed. Haven't we all been there?

The forest of anxieties constricting my ability to function normally consisted of the final illness and death of my good friend Tom Silver, the need to forumlate a defense for another good friend and client and file my first pleadings on his behalf using a confusing electronic filing system in Federal Court, the need to respond to a pile of discovery requests in another matter, organizing 2008's financial information to meet the government's April 15th deadline, keeping abreast of details in Minnesota's U.S. Senate election contest, deal with client issues as they get called in, handle new files with gratefulness and enthusiasm, and, as always, internalize all emotions and stresses.

Haven't we all been there? It is not the first time the volume of demands has seemed overwhelming. We know, intellectually, that we will eventually push forward, perform the necessary tasks, and feel the pressure relieved. The hard part is believing that the relief will come to pass when in the middle of that forest of anxieties.

Some people rely on faith to get them through these emotional roadblocks. Whatever works. I rely on the lessons of James Clavell. In
Noble House, Clavell wrote of the trials and tribulations of Ian Dunross, the 20th Century taipan of the House of Struan. Having previously read Tai-Pan, Clavell's brilliant portrayals of the same Scottish trading family in the 19th Centuries, I closely identified with the Tai-Pan's struggles when I read Noble House in the early 1980's.

Ian Dunross probably did not worry about the electronic filing system instituted and mandated by the Federal Courts. Rather, according to the Wikipedia entry on
Noble House: "(I)n 1963, the tai-pan, Ian Dunross, struggles to rescue Struan's from the precarious financial position left over from his predecessor. To do this, he seeks partnership with an American millionaire, while trying to ward off his arch-rival Quillan Gornt, who seeks to destroy Struan's once and for all. Meanwhile, Chinese communists, Taiwanese nationalists, and Soviet spies illegally vie for influence in Hong Kong while the British government seeks to prevent this. And nobody, it seems, can get anything done without enlisting the aid of Hong Kong's criminal underworld. Other obstacles include water shortages, landslides, bank runs and stock market crashes."

Clavell's books are worth reading and I won't give away the ending of Noble House. Suffice it to say that Dunross addresses his challenges aggressively and individually, rather than allow the number and scope of the problems he faces overwhelm him. That is the lesson I regularly take from Noble House and that is the manner in which I can achieve my emotional freedom, break the shackles of anxiety-induced depression and, not incidentally, return to blogging.

By tackling each tree individually, you find yourself in a clearing. The forest that seemed impossible to deal with becomes separate piles of stacked firewood. My discovery responses are complete, I picked up two major new clients this week, the Federal court Answer and Counterclaim are filed, taxes were paid, Al Franken will be seated before Independence Day, Tommy lives on as a stellar example of what it means to be a mensch in the collective memories of all who knew and loved him and
I went further west on the Luce Line than ever before, making it a mile or so past Charlie Leck's farm, and plan on pushing the envelope a little further each time.


Charles Leck said...

My only comment is that you should have stopped in to have a gentle scotch. Anne and I were watching a couple of the lovely BBC series of THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. I've read all those delightful books and it was fun to see some of the little cases done on film. Did yard work all day yesterday and the simple, quiet evening was my reward.
Chas Leck

Anonymous said...

You did it again . .
You made me weep . .
And that's a good thing, dear friend. . .