Thursday, January 05, 2017
Day 6: Waiting
I'm a lawyer, but I spend more time waiting. That's not exactly how it's supposed to be, but apparently that's how it has been. The court sets a date and time for a hearing, and counsels put it on their calendars, and on the hearing date at the appropriate time, the court room is closed. So the counsels sit outside the courtroom in a suit or barong, perspiring from all the heat, and finding a way to pass the time. If it's a big case and the counsels prepared for hours, all the adrenaline rush would be dissipating with the ticking of the clock. If it were simple motion to be heard, the waiting is easier, but the pressure of the "to do" list back in the office would be gnawing at the lawyer's disposition. When I was younger, I used to carry a paperback novel to keep me amused, but John Grisham could only amuse me once, and I soon resolved that any Grisham book is not worth even my court waiting time. When internet phone browsing came of age, and blogs became popular, I enjoyed waiting more by going online as I wait for my cases to be called; but I soon got alarmed by the increase in my phone bill, so I decided to get a Sudoku puzzle book, which was a cheaper alternative. But Sudoku puzzles became boring as well, so I went back to reading. I had magazines, comics, recipe books, short stories, novels, and history books in my briefcase, my main arsenal to put to some use the time waiting, which could be for various reasons, legitimate or otherwise. I once complained about it to my boss who lectured me instead about time management and suggested I should do my board minutes while waiting in court, which was unrealistic, considering board minutes were a serious matter and other lawyers could he peering at the company secrets discussed in board meetings. Lately, I tried praying the rosary, listening to a playlist of all the Ave Maria versions in Spotify, and reading the daily gospel, but these activities take away my focus from the task at hand. So, I decided the best way to deal with waiting time is to wait -- pure thoughtless, unfeeling, and blank-staring at the empty chair of the judge. It's an exercise in patience and mindfulness. Sometimes the judge arrives, sometimes the judge doesn't, but I wait nonetheless. It is in one of these instances that it came to me, we should be thankful for these moments. Before Solomon, Cain just killed Abel. To find poetry in the waiting is the inevitable life of the legal advocate.