Thursday, May 14, 2009

What goes around, comes around . . .

היום חמשה ושלשים יומים שהם חמשה שבועות לעמר
Today is the thirty-fifth
day of the omer - five weeks
מלכת שבהוד

A day of majesty in a week of humility

One September about 10, maybe 15 years ago, I got a call from a producer asking about my availability for an editing job. I looked at my calendar and saw that I had to decline the work. The producer proceeded to get extremely annoyed with me---"What is wrong with you editors?!?" she exclaimed, "Don't you want the work?" A bit confused about her reaction, I asked whom else she called. "I asked Norm Levy," she said, "but he wasn't available either. I had a nice little chuckle to myself and told her, "If you want someone to work those days, you need to find an editor who is not Jewish." As you might have guessed by now, she was asking about work that was to be done during the High Holidays of Rosh HaShonah and Yom Kippur.

This morning I reported to the courthouse on McAllister Street in San Francisco, ready to serve jury duty. It would be inconvenient for me to serve right now, as I am just starting work on a series of videos that need to be done by the end of the month. But with my present work flow in which I work at home on my equipment rather than elsewhere, I can more easily adapt my schedule. So, with the understanding of my clients, the work would get done, albeit at a slower pace.

My name was called with the second group of perspective jurors. We filed into the courtroom, where the clerk handed us a schedule for this particular trial. It was estimated to last 8 or 9 days over a period of 3 weeks. I'm thinking, okay, this would not be the worst schedule in the world for me if I were to be chosen. But then I looked at the list of trial dates, and raised my hand when the judge asked if anyone would have a hardship serving on this jury. For one of the trial dates is May 29--the first day of Shavuot.

I filled out the proper form, my hardship request to be released from serving at this time was approved, and my jury duty was deferred to the end of June. My clients' videos will now get done in a timely manner, unencumbered by the constraints of serving on a jury in a civil trial.

What goes around, comes around. There are those who won't follow any kind of practice--spiritual or otherwise--that seems like restraints on their lives. But restraints exist in living in a world with others--there are always compromises to be made. Sometimes they go the way you hope they will, sometimes not. You cannot worry about those things when choosing your life's path. You need to go more with what will feed your soul---the rest will follow.

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