Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justice Delivered

And so the open roads call to me… The ever changing horizons, and the boundless sky which loses itself in the abundance of the green lush pastures in front of my wheels beckon to me…

It never fails!….the sheer vastness of the land washes over me like baptismal water.   And once again, I find myself welling up to tears at the immensity of the universe, and my singular existence within my own skin,

in this moment,
in this lifetime,
on this particular spot,

billions of years behind me, 
billions of years ahead of me, 
billions of planets and people and possibilities… 

And once again, I am alone, with me, in the lone solitude of the open road driving to some courthouse, to some detention facility, but really, trying to make sense of my own existence within the greater world at large.

The words of my Zen master prophetically dance in my ears as they have on previous occasions, as if divinely ordained to hallow my existence which is about to undergo yet another epiphany… “the lesson will reveal itself when the student is ready”….

I am ready!… although I don’t know for what.  Yet,  I know that I am here, thousands of miles away from home, in a part of the country that is so foreign and unfamiliar to me. I can feel the earth breathe rhythmically. I can feel the sky quivering with the same sheer excitement of a young girl about to experience her first passion...

I can sense the trees. The lush of the pastures extend their arms to me… There is a warm sense of welcome in these foreign lands.

I am watched over, I know it...
I can feel it.
I am connected to the earth, … and yet I am lost.

My phone is not picking up any signals…
I do not have a map.

And my secretary’s text messages deciphering the serpentine back roads of these god forsaken rural areas of Texas are innocuous at best. I am lost,  literally and figuratively. Lost in the world of my thoughts, and lost on the roads.

He had been a decorated Sergeant in the Shah’s Imperial guard. A man of valor, a man of integrity… a blue blood.  He never said so,.. but his stoic demeanor told me that his upbringing was one which had known the rigors of a disciplined life. A comfortable educated upper class demeanor gently and quietly revealed itself from behind the glass pane that separated me, the criminal defense attorney and him the criminal defendant held in the detention facility.

Opium: the religion of the masses, the quiet pain killer and the silent companion became his lover to soothe the pain of the Islamic Revolution, loss of position, loss of country, inability to cope with the new country, and his failure in not being accepted into the US Air Force. Fast forward 30 years, he was now sitting in custody on charges of transporting 20 kg of opium for distribution and facing potentially 96 months of incarceration….

I remember the first and only time his elderly mother came to see me in my office… She was a small, frail woman with the bone structure of a sparrow but the presence and sheer strength of character of a Lioness. She had come to bless me and surrender her son’s future in my hands. She, the lioness, had single handedly raised 7 kids by herself, … she was the matriarch of a family and was standing in my office, in front of me, to tender her son’s destiny to my hands. Her head was covered in a simple yet elegant gray and black scarf which covered the thin silver braid of hair that came down to the middle of her back. Hair that must have been thick and lush in her younger years streamed down a spine which undoubtedly stood proud and strong, despite her advanced years.

The innate knowledge that she might never see her son as a free man hung like an invisible somber cloud in my office. Her bony fingers trembled as she raised her hand to my head… she softly laid her hand on my head and closed her eyes. Tears, gently at first, and then with the ferocity of a spring shower, rolled down the lines on her face, which by now had turned into  rivers…. She blessed me with a prayer, a murmur under her breath. She asked her God to protect me, so that I could protect her son. I bent over to kiss her, and in the traditions of our forefathers, in an act reserved for feudal serfs to their masters, she kissed my shoulder.

"Riders on the Storm,  in this town were born". I am brought back to the road. The Doors as if by magic read my solemn mood. The guitar solo is wailing. Who are we? What are we? Why are we where we are? Why me? Why this lifetime? Why here? What is my purpose in life?  Why did my soul choose this body, this vessel, this juncture in time and space to experience this lifetime?

What is this deep profound yearning within me that is like a bottomless cavernous abyss dragging me to the deepest recesses of my existence only to heave me in the context of an epiphany to the boundless and infinite sphere of the universe?

Am I not the master of my choices? Do I not create my own reality? I have willed this, … I know this much. I am here by my own design, this much I know as well. I am the master of my own destiny…this fact, is an absolute certainty in my mind. Yet, what is the destiny? The purpose? The reason?

I am being. I know that.

I am experiencing the Journey of my soul… I know that as well… but where am I going??? And why? The teachings of Carlos Castaneda resonate in my mind:  death is the ultimate step in knowledge.  And perhaps not until I pass thru the gates of death will I know.   I pass thru the metal gates…Barbed wires protect the property.   Funny! I think…. Where would they go if they were to run away. The nearest civilization is billions of miles away. They’d die of  starvation! ….

I pass thru 5 set of locked doors in a federal facility that smells more like a meat shop. “Plump Rosy” greets me behind a glass partition and checks my credentials.  “California”, she exclaims, with the sophistication of a potato in a farmer’s market!  “Yes”, I said. “I am a long way from home”.

And within me, Rumi chants to me: "The Universe is your home… take wings my child, fly…"

Clank… clank... clank…..The doors open and shut one after the other….. The sound of his hands and feet in chains drag along the corridor…..He looks good. Cheeks are rosy. He has gained weight. He looks healthy. He shares the poems that his daughter has written for him. He shares his own writings with me. He shares his poetry. We talk about Rumi. He says: “what will become of me”?

“This”, I said…” was the easy part. Tomorrow is your sentencing…. The Judge can deviate from the agreement and sentence you above guideline range, and give you up to ten years… However, if he follows the agreement… you will only have another twelve to sixteen months to do… The real question, is what will you do once you go home? The hard work starts when you try to reintegrate within your own. How will you make amends to your wife? To your kids?  To your family? Your mother is dead… how will you explain this to her? How will you forgive yourself? How will you absolve yourself before your own conscience?”

How will anyone of us make amends to  ourselves for all that we have done or not done to our self? In the context of the greater Universe, is breaking the law the true crime? Isn’t the real crime not being true to our real self? Isn’t the ultimate transgression that which is done against our own existence, our own path? Our own Journey? Who answers for that? who punishes us for that? What is the real punishment for not having taken the right road, or having taken that one wrong left turn? What are these societal rules? What happens to personal ethics when they collide with the mores of the society?

I write out his colloquy to the Judge.  This is his one opportunity to address the Court and tell the Judge about his remorse. I have tried to keep it simple.. I used the words that I thought he might use.. not mine. With any luck, tomorrow, the hands of the Universe will be with me…

My legal arguments are ready…. My passion for my work is flowing like the Ganges ….  My need to find absolution and harmony in a world that is sadly lacking in such empowers me more than my legal arguments.  With any luck, I will find strength  from within…with any luck, once again my desire to perfection, for lust of words, and most importantly, my yearning for yet another epiphany will endow me with the power of speech to deliver justice.

I am for now, a criminal defense attorney, a constitutional defender… that is until such time as I find my true identity.

Alaleh Kamran
March 23, 2011 Dallas/Texas

Law Offices of Alaleh Kamran
 15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1010
 Encino, Ca 91436

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