Posts in The Head & The Heart

Not that there are a lot of clean records in the Justice Center. Most of the defendants, many of the victims, too, have had some prior entanglement with the law. And even if it's small stuff—marijuana possession or trespassing—you get the stink on you, or what I've come to think of as the stink. You get a whiff of bad citizenry about you. An odor that causes the presumption of innocence to shrivel.

[ . . .]

Punishment is relative. What it takes to teach you a lesson depends on what you're used to. But there was a more disturbing implication as well. One that prows this courthouse and throughout our criminal justice system. That we are not like them. The ones we arrest and punish, the ones with the stink, they're slightly different species, with senses dulled and toughened. They don't feel pain or sorrow or joy or freedom or the loss of freedom the same way you or I would.

— Serial, S. 3, E. 1: A bar fight walks into a justice center

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We're all in the together

When I'm feeling optimistic I appreciate that an elevator car in a government building is one of the few places left in our country where different kinds of people are forced into proximity. I like to think that we can all stand so close to one another, with our sensible heels, and Timberland boots, and American flag lapel pins, and fake eyelashes, and Axe cologne, and orthopedic inserts, and teardrop tattoos, and to-go coffees. And when the elevator doors open up, spilling us out onto our floor, the fact that no one is bloodied or even in tears, it's a small, pleasing reminder that we're all in this together.

Serial, S. 3, E. 1: A bar fight walks into a justice center

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If your daily life seems poor. . .

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.”
- Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

Being a mother brings out the worst in me sometimes. It releases the tired, selfish, task-oriented, distracted self that doesn’t want to “deal” with my little boys and their woes (and boy do my little boys have woes). I can get beat down by the routine of just getting from point a to b in the week that I miss the special moments of their childhood. It makes me queasy to think of it here, but of course, I don’t realize I’m doing it at the time. Every once in a while, though, God’s restraining grace slows me down a bit and I can just sit back and marvel at these three little humans that he’s lent me. 

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