Hello you beautiful, bodacious blog! I missed you! Gosh, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything here—and it kinda has.
I made mention on my social media platforms that I would be taking a brief hiatus from blogging, primarily because of my being “tied up,” as I called it, with some other engagement, one in which I was thrilled to have been knotted. My promise was, for those of you who follow along, that once the days were returned to me in full, and I was again left without responsibility and showered with bucketsful of time, I would divulge the details of my detaining occupation, reveal the reasons regarding my temporary retirement, and spill all the beans, every last one, and tell you the tale of my time away.
So, where have I been? Indeed, as the legendary Prince of Denmark, dear deceased Hamlet, would say, that is the question. And I do believe you have all suffered enough at the hands of anticipation, so let me get right to it.
About a fortnight ago, the Lords of the Land sent to me an invitation, one of mandatory persuasion, to come before the gates of the castle of Lady Objectivity: the Queen of Calibration, the Baroness of Fairness, the Dispassionate Duchess of Impartiality.
There I was to wait. And wait I did. I waited with such technique, such accomplished aptitude and artistry that when I was called upon to wait again, and once more after that, I impressed not only myself, but all those waiting beside me as well. Then, upon conclusion of another stint of dexterous waiting, I was given the new task of waiting, and told that once I’d seen this new assignment through, I was to commence waiting, and thereafter wait for further instructions, which would—you guessed it—be to wait. And then, after all my waiting, after all the holding still, remaining, lingering, and hanging around, I was finally called upon by a melodious voice, bidding me to…wait.
But my time was not wholly employed in a tarrying game—no, the waiting did eventually come to an end, and I was brought before the Arch Appraiser, the Executive Examiner, the Masterful Malletted Moderator: I was brought before His Mighty Magistrateness, the Keeper of the Scales. From his elevated throne, the Mustached Mediator examined my every nook and cranny, and retrieved each and every dark secret I’d hidden deep within the dimmest recesses of my humble soul. I sat with fingers twiddling and derrière desperately dipping down the length of my chair, determined to reach the floor and make a quick dash to freedom.
However, before an attempt to flee could be made, I was turned over to the Sirens. To say these eyes had ever beheld the definition of elegance, or that these ears had ever heard songs so sweet, would be a flat-out lie, for it was not until the members of the Siren Elite had addressed their intoxicating hymns to me that I began to understand what it meant to be helplessly persuaded. Lost in their gleaming eyes and gripped by the glow of their flawless attire and carefully scrutinized miens, I forfeited every last morsel, every classified component, concept, and private province to their grinning, pearl-filled mouths and radiant rhetoric.
From there I was ushered into a cell, where I spent the majority of my fortnight at the castle just staring out at the passing world. Doomed was I, punished as a deviant disregarder of this nation’s decrees—but I had committed no crime.
The days went by from morning ‘till night, as has been their practice since time began; and as they trotted along I was shuffled about with comrades of the same fate to listen to the Sirens sing notes of query to commissioned attesters and bark in passionate protest at one another, looking to the Mustached Moderator for assent.
Once the Sirens had concluded their songs, which had taken nearly the entire fortnight to sing to conclusion, they each sang an abbreviation, a synopsis of their elaborate composition, before my comrades and I were shuffled back to our cell where we were ordered to engage in a friendly discussion regarding the aforementioned hymns. Which choruses were the best, we posed? Which notes possessed the greatest meaning? From which words shall truth be derived? And which shall be rejected as fickle folly? But most of all—and this was our entire purpose—what has the series of songs succeeded in imparting to us, and can we all become united in one mind on that message?
Well, the answer for about six hours was no. Divided we were, split on the issue, and locked in a heated disputation. And it seemed as though we were doomed to fail, to never come together as one and earn our ticket of liberation from our confinement. But then, from across the table, a maiden whose mind on the matter deferred greatly from my own—not to mention ten of her comrades, three of whom had once been her allies—discovered within the lines of a crucial stanza the note we’d all in our passionate hurling of opinions had overlooked. And once that note was heard again in the harmonic manner in which it had been sung by both the Sirens and their trusted attesters, the maiden and her lone knight, who had fought valiantly against the unified minds of their ten other cellmates, relinquished their opposition; and together we stood before Mister Moustache Mallet Masher, and delivered our conclusion on The Songs of the Fortnight.
That’s the long version. Here’s the short version: I had jury duty. And, boy, was it a wonderful experience!
Truly, jury duty gets a bad rap; but it really is a fascinating thing to be a part of—though for those who wait around all day and never get called to hear a case, it really is a drag. Jury selection can be a tough process, too, especially for those who experience one like I did (I was later informed by the lawyers involved that the selection process for the case on which I sat—which took all of two days—was rare in length, absurdly long).
But aside from all that, it really is an amazing experience to be called upon to hear mounds of facts and evidence, and then to be sent to deliberate and discuss a verdict. The responsibility rests on you in a very literal way, and I must say I was impressed with the level of seriousness and maturity exhibited by the majority of my jury group.
I must also mention that my perception of lawyers is now vastly different. While I do have lawyers in the family, I’d never seen until recently the sheer amount of work they put into a case, or fully appreciated just how incredibly skilled, intelligent, passionate, and downright professional they are during proceedings. Probably the best part of my experience, aside from the incredible education I received and the amazing debate, was the nearly two-hour conversation I had with both the prosecution and defense lawyers after all had been said and done. They truly were some of the nicest, most pleasant people I’ve ever met, and they really must be commended for their outstanding efforts.
Anyway, I’ll cease to ramble, as I've exceeded the 1,000-word mark; but I wanted briefly to give an update on my book and blog.
Because I’m nearing the super final steps of my book’s road to publication, I’ll be focusing more time on that and less on the blog. However, I do have several short stories—including one about jury duty—in progress that I will do my best to post in parts on a regular basis.
That’s pretty much it. Brief, right? Told you so.
Thanks for stopping by! And to all my fellow jurors, the lawyers, the deputy, and the honorable judge, I say thank you for making my time as a contributing member of this country’s legal system memorable, educational, and special!
C. K. Conners
©2015 by C. K. Conners