Going It Alone


I took a younger partner in a while back. He is a brilliant lawyer; a raw talent that requires only time and effort to be burnished into a gem. I took him in and did my best to nourish him. But last week, we parted ways. There's a lesson in that, I suppose. I will learn it when the sorrow recedes.

When I was in college, I kept a poster on one of the walls of my dorm room. It was of a forest scene. Beneath it were words of the American poet, Robert Frost. 'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Watching my young colleague leave left me feeling the loneliness of a solitary road. This time the road chose me. 

That's not a bad thing. There's a false comfort in the crowd. The shelter of others' boughs as often prevents soaring flight as it protects against hostile elements. Walking alone is good.

This has been a season of choice and turning away from distraction. Even in blogging.

"He is desperate to engage you," a friend wrote the other day, pointing out the barbed words of another directed my way. Beware the common denominator demanding his middling due.

"Why bother telling me this," I reply. "There's nothing there for me. The Internet is a large place. I'm not looking for what he and his friends have to offer." Cold clicks on a keyboard from folks I'll never meet don't sustain. Better to walk a solitary road, a road without frantic link love and engaged commentary spinning faster and faster only to arrive smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

My younger partner, I miss. The chatter of the sniping class? I miss that much like I miss the sniggering just before the teacher walked in to begin ... what was it, seventh grade? Odysseus' wax grows warm in my ears, a comfortable fit. The whispering hiss of the seekers grows faint.  

The one I cared about has taken flight. The ones so determined to catch my eye, alight on empty branches.  Best wishes to a friend on another solitary road all his own. And to those who seek to walk mine, rest and abide; watch, too, if you must. But don't expect a welcoming hand. I'm not of a mind now to tolerate empty chatter. The voice I wanted to hear is gone. Those voices seemingly so anxious to find my ear offer mere noise.

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© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
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