Law in Contemporary Society


-- By RachelGholston - 26 Apr 2012

I write poetry. I have yet to write a poem beyond my own experiences. Every poem has been autobiographical in a way that could be considered narcissistic. My inability to look beyond my experiences is at the same time what makes my poetry universal and limited.

What will it mean to practice law in an autobiographical way?

I would take my identity, my experiences, the things that upset me and I would use them to fashion a purpose for the license. It is a terrifying proposition, going about making purposes. I have yet to determine whether it is more terrifying than the consequences of the cognitive dissonance associated with being given a purpose. The alternative to my decision to practice law in an autobiographical way would be splitting myself to do the work that does not reflect anything about me.

Institutionalized Splitting

Most of the institutions I have passed through have taught me to distance myself from the work that I do. You don’t write papers in the first person. You need to use an objective approach to these problems. It was right for the institutions to promote that line of thinking. If there is a correct way to do something, then you ought to teach students to apply it regardless of who they are. It is how institutions get the desired results from the work the students produce. Creativity and correctness are not often found together. The real problem with the institutions I passed through is that they had no way of understanding who I was or how my identity could be applied to the work. The institutions were never made for me, so forcing me to split was the only way they could manage me.

The Anger

I resented this class for making me come to terms with the fact that I have spent most of my life splitting myself to do the work. It is completely impolite to mention such unpleasantries. The most infuriating part is that I will no longer be able to make a decision about the work without the awareness of the consequences. What once seemed normal, doing work without any personal investment, now acts violence upon me. It is not as if I never felt it. I never realized it was a feeling I did not have to have. The knowledge that refusing to participate is as simple as an “I would prefer not to” is haunting.

The Conclusion

The only part of my works where the dissonance can’t reach is the poetry. It has always been the poetry. I should be a poet. Or I should be creative in my approach to my work. Personal investment is inherent in creativity or maybe it is the meaning of creativity. Creativity is the production of personal investment in the project. My conclusion is that the anger will keep me from being able to maintain the splitting for a long period of time. I have maintained the splitting for years with little thought to the source of the discomfort that failing to create my own purposes created. That period is over. The conclusion is the awareness I really can't speak to the consequences of that awareness to future events.

This is exactly what it needed to be. You have seen what can and can't be seen about your future.

Your poetry will be. So will your practice. They will fit together they way they did for William Carlos Williams, who could not have made this any better.

(I'm working through the summer)

What needs work is the other essay. That could be the analytic exercise my comments on the first draft suggested. Or it should pull itself out of the realm of objectivity. Or it could become something else entirely.

“Imagination though it cannot wipe out the sting of remorse can instruct the mind in its proper uses.” ― WCW

Thank you, Rachel, for articulating that so perfectly.


Webs Webs

r6 - 22 Jan 2013 - 20:10:09 - IanSullivan
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