It was summer jury duty, with 1,000 or so peers along for the ride in the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse. Most wouldn’t be called out of the waiting room at all today, and the smart ones had brought books or magazines or puzzles, anything to pass the time. The rest of us fiddled with our phones, shifted annoyingly in our chairs, sighed, and watched the movie. This morning’s feature was the romantic comedy Hitch. Seen it four times now and still giggle. Got a problem with that? I’ll see you in court. Oh, wait …
The afternoon movie was the science-fiction adventure Avatar. If you haven’t seen it, Avatar has a funny/tense scene in which our hero must select his personal winged dragon thingy by instinctively sensing which one will “choose” him back, aka “not kill him.” (Geez, we think flying isn’t worth the hassle sometimes.) Anyway, a lightbulb suddenly went on in my head: “Trust your instincts.” An epiphany, and it didn’t even look like it wanted to kill me. Not to bore you, but I had been fretting over a tough decision at work. Then, case closed.
You’ll read about far more amazing epiphanies in the pages that follow, like a decision to leave the priesthood to become a nurse at home and abroad (“Guatemala Give & Take”). There’s the decision to build a cancer center whose beauty is a key part of the healing process (“In Your Own World”). And the flash of insight gained via someone who’s been there (“For Their Hearts and History, Our Alums Can’t Be Beat”). Who knows? Maybe your own epiphany awaits you inside this magazine.
Only one way to find out.
The weird thing is that I never saw the end of the movie. The courthouse staff turned it off at 4 p.m. (it’s a long film) and sent us all home till next year. I don’t know how it all turns out, nor do I have to admit to anyone (OK, besides you) that I had a life-altering (OK, maybe week-altering) experience while watching Avatar, of all things. I’ll tell them it happened during Hitch.
Steve St. Angelo