I'm on call for jury duty this week. I have never actually been called to serve on a jury before, but I've received the summons numerous times. This week, I blocked out the time to serve, planning nothing, and each evening, I've looked online after 6:00 P.M. to check my status, as instructed in the summons. So far, my status has been "not scheduled to report," each day. Though I know that serving in this way is my civic duty, each day I see that status, I feel like giving someone a high five, or a "YES!" fist-pump, as if I've escaped from a dental appointment or some other unpleasant event. Why is that? Maybe it's because our county courthouse is in a neighborhood that, may I say, leaves something to be desired.
Every day when this happens, I receive a bonus day that I didn't anticipate having, and I work to get things done - things like laundry, getting a haircut (yes, again), guild work, mailing books to people, writing letters, answering emails, phone calls and requests for assistance with projects, etc. It's funny, but I don't seem to be catching up. As I spend every "bonus" day working on these things, my inbox just fills right back up. It's not turning out to be that different from any other working week, but it doesn't feel like any other week, because I planned NOTHING. I am just doing everything as it comes. It feels kind of floaty, without gravity. A bit odd.
This week, Stephanie Nielson of the NieNie Dialogues blog is promoting her first book, due to appear early next month, called "Heaven Is Here." I love NieNie's blog, and her approach to living. The other day, she had a special offer of 1/2 off the price of the book, so I jumped at that and pre-ordered it. I can't wait to hold it in my hands! In order to get free shipping, I had to purchase a minimum amount of merchandise, so I added a couple of books as gifts for others (who shall remain nameless, or it will spoil the surprise).
One of these books has been on my wishlist for a while; it's called "Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self." One of the letters in it made me cry. It's by James Woods, who is not my favorite actor, but boy, his letter is powerful. This is the part that moved me:
"Do good work and do it because it is a gift to the world. No matter how inconsequential others may feel about the value of your contribution, it is the giving that matters...
"And most importantly, call your brother on July 26, 2006, and tell him he must go to a different hospital.
"It is okay to fall, but not okay to stay on the ground.
"Cherish the dead you once loved so carelessly. They still live in your heart." Well said, James, well said.
I'm not being called to serve on a jury tomorrow, either. But I am being called to serve dinner now. Bon appetit, mes amis!