Just logging in for a brief time this Tuesday morning, and I wanted to update all of you about the trial. But first, I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the helpful, moving, extraordinary messages of support so many of you have left in the comments thread here after I told you of my obligation to testify at trial. Several readers have also emailed and contacted me by Facebook.
I apologize that I haven't yet thanked many of you personally. The past several days are a whirlwind of trial-related obligations, and I am not finding time to blog much, obviously.
Meanwhile, the trial: yesterday turned out to be occupied with jury selection, so it appears I'll testify today. As I do so, I will hear the words each of you wrote me ringing in my ears. I have re-read them this morning, as Colleen Baker (who has left the last message in the thread thus far) suggests I do. (And, yes, Colleen, a brilliant reminder: I'll be Tyrion Lannister facing Cersei--a story that, as you know, since you followed me through the first stages of this journey with the evil, scheming, sociopathic Cersei, fits perfectly.)
I am more grateful than I can say. Though I am approaching this experience with great trepidation, since outright evil is not ever easy to encounter and face down, I remind myself as I read your wise and helpful advice that, ultimately, I have one critically important gift carrying me forward as I testify: I retain a vital and living connection to my own soul, as we all do, unless we choose to sell our souls to someone else or some structure of power.
And in my soul, there is great peace--in knowing that I speak the truth as I see it, in knowing that I have sought to live according to my best lights even when evil structures of power have tried to twist and turn me to their scheming ends, in knowing that I have sought to help others, defend their rights, and assist in the healing of the world.
I may not have pursued any of these goals to perfection--I certainly have not. I have failed both in the imperfect doing and in the not doing when action was needed. But I've tried to pursue these goals, and my peace lies in that thought and in the awareness that, at the end of my life, I will honestly be able to say that it has been that striving to know the good and do it that has directed my actions, and not the lust to have power over others or to heap up wealth.
I simply can't imagine walking to the end of my life and having only a big pile of money and empty power to show for all my years of living--and, lining the pathway to that heap of money and the power that it has bought for me, one bloodied corpse after another, the bodies of folks I've fired unjustly, lied about, treated with contempt because they were inconvenient to me as I marched to wealth and prestige. People who reach high places through such behavior can often even buy "justice" through courts in most cultures of the world, and that could well happen in this case, too.
But they can't buy peace of mind and heart, integrity, self-respect, and the knowledge--deep in their souls, where conscience doesn't lie--that they have sought to make the world a better place and to do good to everyone they meet. Such folks are surely to be pitied--but also, when it's possible, to be prevented from doing further harm to others.
The graphic: Daniel being saved by Habbakuk in the lions' den, from a 15th-century French manuscript, available at Wikimedia Commons.