Monday, February 26, 2007

Why Lawyers Should Surf

Why Lawyers Should Surf (co-authored with Dr Michelle Tempest) is now available on Waterstone's website here or can be ordered from XPL Publishing on 0870 079 8897 (p&p is included). Extracts from the book can be found here. To see a review of the book in The Independent click here.

As to the title why lawyers should surf in particular, it is hoped that this metaphor will help to illustrate some of the points made in a way which is outside of the lawyer’s day to day experience. Its use has obviously become particularly prevalent in the modern world as a result of its association with computers and internet surfing. However, the connection to surfing, waves and the deep ocean beyond goes far beyond such modern inventions.

The human connection with the ocean is primeval and touches the very depths of our souls. Evolutionists might suggest that it has something to do with the fact that all species originated in the sea. Biblical references might be made to the first paragraph of the Bible which says “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”, to Noah and the great flood, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the whale and even Jesus himself walking on water. Psychologists on the other hand might suggest that it is due to our time in the womb or the fact perhaps that like the surface of the earth itself we are made mostly of water. As Goethe put it, “All is born of water; all is sustained by water.” In The Book of Waves, Drew Kampion suggested that we are all drawn to the meeting of the land and the ocean because of the release of energy which happens there: “…where ocean wave meets solid ground and gives up its accumulated life force in a powerful expression of consummation”.

It is not to suggest that any of these reasons are necessarily correct, but simply that there is an almost inexplicable connection. Something which you can’t quite put your finger on, yet is utterly fundamental. This connection may underlie the feeling a surfer gets when riding a wave. However, as with the connection with the ocean, the feeling in many ways diminished when one attempts to put it into words. As far back as 1777, canoe surfing was described in an account of the voyages of Captain James Cook in the following way, “I could not help concluding that this man felt the most supreme pleasure while he was driven on so fast and so smoothly by the sea”.

Surfing is far more than pleasure. It is a connection with nature, the world, with God. Some might say it is love itself. It is a sense of timelessness, of other worldliness yet at the same time as connected to this world as it is possible to be. Daniel Duane describes it in Caught Inside as “a small occurrence outside the linear march of time”. In The Four Quartets, T.S.Eliot describes “the still point of the turning world… [w]here past and future are gathered” and it is perhaps only in poetry and the evocation of life’s mysteries that one can approach the essence of surfing with any accuracy. He goes on, “Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance…surrounded / By a grace of sense…In the completion of its partial ecstasy.”

However inexplicable it might be, the harnessing of the ocean and the mighty waves it throws shore wards provides a very powerful metaphor for the harnessing of life and everything that it throws at each one of us. On a more everyday level, it is also a sport which is away from worldly cares and to that extent contrasts with the sometimes stuffy image of the law. It is hoped that this may help to inspire the reader into seeing particular issues from a new perspective. Of course, it might also have the side effect of inspiring the occasional reader into paddling out into the waves themselves.


Anonymous said...

I shall have to get this - sounds like just what I should be reading on a stressful Monday!

silentsurfur said...

Hey Tim,

As I said your my first community member in myboglog.....just wanna say lots of thanks and i am in love with a 50 years old women who visited me a couple of times.....if you have any idea about immigration please let me know.........i am desperate for give her all happiness she missed in her life.....

Drewcifer said...

A testament to why more people should surf, just not where I surf. :)

Lawyerlike said...

Congratulations on this publication. I'm going to order mine, but mostly I'm just thrilled to know that it's more than possible to write a book and be a lawyer at the same time.


Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

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The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. Dennis Fritz was the other Innocent man mentioned in John Grisham's Book which mainly is about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's co-defendant. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison.

The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. Read about why he went on a special diet of his while in prison, amazing and shocking. Dennis Fritz's Story of unwarranted prosecution and wrongful conviction needs to be heard. Look for his book in book stores or at , Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz, Publisher Seven Locks Press 2006. .
Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975 by a deranged 17 year old neighbor.

On May 8th 1987, Five years after Debbie Sue Carter's rape and murder he was home with his young daughter and put under arrest, handcuffed and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. After 10 years in prison he discovered The Innocence Project, a non-profit legal organization. With the aid of Barry Scheck and DNA evidence Dennis Fritz was exonerated on April 15,1999.

Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns and now on his Journey Toward Justice.He witnessed miracles and heard God whisper "Trust Me". He never blamed the Lord and solely relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up.

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