Monday, July 25, 2005

July 21, 2005

Dear Sis

I'm sitting on my bunk with my little 5" TV, watching "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. They're showing the jumping Great Whites off of Seal Island, off the coast of South Africa. It's amazing to see such large, bulky animals move so fast & maneuver so quickly, turning around in mid-air as they chase those hapless little baby seals. I'm pleased that programs like this, and the whole "shark week" trip, have enlightened the public so much. I can remeber, as a kid in the 1960's, how sharks were universally feared and hated, and everyone thought that the best sharks were dead sharks. Now, more & nore people understand how important sharks are, ecologically speaking, and how they play an integral part in the balance of nature. And, we've learned that sharks are not mindless killers & that they don't hunt humans. When a shark bites a human it is most often accidental and/or incidental. What's really amazing, given the number of sharks and number of people in the waters, is how rare shark attacks are, which in itself tells you that sharks normally avoid people. One of the better programs, or episodes, in "shark week" is one where these divers intentionally go out and dive, withut a shark cage, with great white sharks. Some of the divers even "ride" an occasional great white by grabbing the dorsal fin. To see those immense sharks cruise by, within arm's reach of these divers, without being agitated or threatening, but just showing mild curiosity, is enough to dispel the common myth of sharks being relentless attackers. As for myself, I long ago changed my attitude about sharks, and I'm glad that I no longer operate from a place of ignorance. As a youth, like most people, I would not have thought twice about catching and killing sharks. (It's a cliche', but sadly true, that we -mankind- blindly kill and destroy whatever we fear or don't understand, and I was no different than the average person). Nowadays, if I was deep sea fishing I wouldn't even try to land a shark, even just to release it. I'd just admire it & salute it as it swam away. I'm glad that I've matured & learned, and glad that many, if not most, others have done likewise.

After two months of hard work, and miles of writing and rewriting, I've completed my cert petition & mailed it off to my lawyer. I'm pleased with the final draft, and much relieved to be done with it. It was a bear to write, much more so than a run-of-the-mill brief or petition, but I'm not complaining. My life hangs in the balance & this will almost certainly my last legal hurrah. Now it's up to the lawyers to edit it & fine tune it as they deem necessary; then it goes to the US Supreme Court, just in time for the brand new Justice (Roberts, once he's confirmed, which should be soon) to consider it along with the rest of the Court.

O.K., Sis, I'm gonna wrap this up & post it. Keep your chin up & keep smiling.

Love & Peace,