The truth is this blog probably wasn’t ever meant to be a legal blog. The truth is it always was just a place for me to write down how I felt, thought, sometimes what I was doing. I dipped my foot into the legal world, wanting to be accepted as a ‘real lawyer’ and a ‘real blawger’ but the truth is – the truth is not guilty has always just been a smokescreen for me. There is nothing in here that will make you smarter. Nothing that will give you insight into what is happening in the legal profession or how things are changing. You will not learn of the latest case or read about my analysis of it. And I’ve given up trying to keep up with the big boys whose acceptance and criticism both warmed and stung me. So, this page. This one that I write on now is nothing more or nothing less than what I make it be. It is nothing else but me. Mirriam Z. Seddiq. Not guilty.
I started this blog for me. There were just a handful of us at that time doing this blogging thing and it was just for shits and giggles. I wrote about TV shows and my move to Baltimore and trying to have babies. I wrote about the cafeteria in the basement of the old Albany County Courthouse and the people I knew. I documented the day to day drudgery and routine of being this person in this skin. Because see I love these words. I love the way they sound when I read them back to myself. I like the ups and downs and the swings and sways and then I wanted also to make you all see the things as I saw them and I tried to use these words to do it, these words that I am in love with and have always been in love with. I wanted you to love them too.
And you did.
You love them and you loved me and I wanted you to keep loving me.
But the problem is the world didn’t change because you loved these things I said. My clients were still getting screwed. The law was still so harsh and heavy and it seemed at times too much to withstand. There is nothing that prepares you for all of this. Nothing that will set you straight when you have heard so many kids cry for their dads and so many mothers weep for their children.
Does this all sound like so much more of the words I’ve already given you? But you see that’s all there is here. There isn’t anything else for me to say. I can tell you about the NSA listening to your calls and watching me type this blog post (I’m a muslim criminal defense lawyer from Kandahar, Afghanistan, if you’ve ever spoken to me on the phone you know they are listening) but do you care? I can tell you I had a client sentenced to 11.5 years for moving marijuana across the country (it was a gift from the judge, if you can believe that) I had another sentenced to 21 years (another gift) and on and on and on it goes. And there are the wins which make it possible to get through another day and there are the mothers and sisters and dads who call and email and say thank you (although that is rare).
I was asked over the break what it is that makes us do this thing that we do. I know we devoted so much of this blogging time to figuring it out. This weekend I got out my journals from college and law school. I’ve always been writing. I started my first diary in 1984 and was constant and consistent until 1995. Then the blog in 2004. And it seems that from the beginning of my life I knew that there were things that just weren’t right. That I had to be a part of fixing. I didn’t know what those things were but I felt it. I just though tit was all – unfair.
People say “life isn’t fair” and I get it. We tend to believe it is either a well thought out plan by a supreme being or a bunch of chaos and we are just lucky to avoid full on force of the meteor landing in our town. But probably it is neither or both. It is beautiful anarchy that we make sense of so we can get from place to place without stumbling over ourselves all the time.
Look, this is a post about nothing. These are just words that fill in this space and since you’ve been reading me for a while you keep doing it. And I appreciate that. I appreciate that you stop in and say hello and some of you send me a nice message saying you are happy when I write. I am happy when I write. I am happy to be able to put things down on paper and in this computer and I am happy that my words that have frequently failed me are still here and I am happy that we are still fighting this fight together and that even though I may not stun you with my keen legal mind that you come back here and sit with me for a bit.
Happy new year, dear reader. Here’s to year 10.
We are still all not guilty of something.