What do I want to say ?
Sometimes, I lay awake at night spinning words together into ever more perfect sentences. But when I sit down to write, they dissipate into a clouded, tired mind. I want to share my learnings, my thoughts, my plans, hope and dreams. Maybe if I put it all on paper, I’ll understand it better. The past, present, future, life, work, love, and everything in between needs to be broken down and then, maybe it’ll start to make sense.
Words are so powerful, I would know — they’ve been my constant companions all my life. It started small, the fables and the myths. All the stories that tell you how to be and who to be. As I grew, so did my bookshelf. I’d polish off a Great Illustrated Classic after dinner and then another, just because. The library became my haven. As the other children lived through their stories, I was solving mysteries, experiencing great love, building an empire and travelling the world, all from the second floor of my school.
Then one day, playing basketball, I met a writer.
An aspiring writer. We’d stay up all night exchanging stories, curating the world we wanted to live in — where the indignities and inequalities of our reality were taken away at the stroke of a pen. Little scraps of paper held our greatest fears and boldest aspirations. We were going to conquer the world one idea at a time.
Time and age shrunk my fictional world.
First, the keys to the library were taken away and then my freedom. For a brief period, I even took to hiding in the bathroom with a jar of nutella and a good book to find some peace and avoid the bad books that were supposed to teach me how the world really works. Just as I became convinced that words were powerless against the imperfections of life, I met the Law.
Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword had never met a printing press.
In the legal world, words claim to have tangible power to dictate action. A misplaced comma, or an errant phrase can take away years of a persons life. The ever-evolving legal fictions of rights, duties, liabilities and damages command our lives in the most incomprehensible ways. Yet, the power of the law manifests when rules are broken. The reams of paper in which our social contract is enshrined have very little power to govern choices. Does the world make any more sense for having been boxed into booklets?
And so, unsuccessful in my literary and legal adventures, I sit once again with a whirring mind, before an empty page.
Somehow, I know that the task of filling this space over and over again will provide its own answers. When strung together well, stories — in law, as in life, are a powerful tool to manifest the craftsman’s reality. I know I write because I want to have a voice. I want my words to be read and understood. I’m putting myself out there for the world, in the hopes that somehow, somewhere there’s someone reading what I have to say.
But before I do, I must first answer that gnawing question — what do I want to say?
I want to tell my story. And the countless other stories intertwined with mine. All those tiny, immense, simple and magnificent experiences that have made up my life — that make up my life. Somewhere in between fiction and law lies reality, lies truth. Real, raw, unique and ordinary.
Sitting here and writing these words, I am alone. But the characters who make up my world, who have made me who I am are with me always. I can see them now — in the midst of their moments of joy, sadness, excitement and despair; teaching me how to be and who to be. May my words do justice to their stories.