I am a court stenographer. Stenographers and stenographic recording of testimony is vital and necessary to ensure our judicial system runs efficiently and fairly to all. During testimony, stenographers can instantly provide readback to the judge and parties and further aid juries during deliberations. Whether to save money or because of so-called shortages, there has been electronic recorders coming onto the legal market calling themselves digital court reporters. I feel a more fitting name for digital recording is a court recorder or digital recorder. Stenographers abide by a Professional Code of Ethics, which includes confidentiality along with professional conduct. Stenographers are the only ones responsible for maintaining the official record. Digital recordings can be given to anyone. Oftentimes, there are several typists and others involved to produce one transcript. The confidentiality and ethics regarding typists and others can be called into question when many users have ready access to secure and confidential information. Transcripts of digital recordings often contain “(Inaudible)” when the typist is unable to hear and type the audio. During trial testimony, stenographers can ask for clarity, if there is a background noise, a mumbling witness or overlapping speakers. If a witness nods their head, stenographers ask for a verbal response. The trial record is clear and maintained. Stenographers are the gold standard and should not be confused or replaced with a digital recording. Digital recording is not state-of-the-art technology and can never compete with a stenographic record. I am a court stenographer. I've had a rewarding career that has span two decades writing on my stenographic machine. I've helped provide communication access to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and have worked in the judiciary. I am proud of my accomplishments, the friendships I've made, and the future of stenographic reporting is here to stay. Image by Steno[SWAG] https://courtreporterswag.com/
We seek fulfillment. Our bodies take it all in. We find nourishment In the foods we eat And in the information We consume. We seek fulfillment From the outside world, Which can nourish. It can hold. It can bind. We seek satiation And satisfaction. Taking from the earth We feel filled up And lifted up. We can be held in each other’s arms. Our own thoughts and prayers Guide us on the path. Our minds can bind us To the truth Or to one fixed view. We take in and seek fulfillment In a focused moment Or a broader view. It can feel hard if not impossible To let go What we’ve become accustomed to: The same familiar foods, Deeply held emotions and beliefs. It can feel that we ourselves are also being consumed If we can’t take care of each other And be mindful of what is acceptable And beneficial to consume. Does it nourish? It all becomes integrated and a part of our cells. So let’s choose wisely. Not just for a single fleeting moment But all precious moments. Fulfillment is possible.
Each day is a gift If we get off the rat race Long enough to see. That THIS is all there IS to be. We can fight. We can struggle. We can wish it was different Or deny what we see. But it isn’t so. This is what we got. This is the stuff The stars are made of. We, too, are among the stars. That in itself is a miracle.
The sliver of moon shines bright In the crisp dark morning. I see its light through The bare tree branches. It greets me as I awaken From that warm, cozy slumber. We are the only ones awake.
The freshly fallen snow May just be a morning commute hassle. Like a tassel that a cat toys with. Batted and bounced around Back and forth. Pulled and shredded With differing sized strands. One moment a cat’s delight. Next, it’s so boring That it’s cast aside. No longer good enough To keep a cat entertained. A hassle is similar. It’s in our face. We didn’t ask for it. It feels like it’s happening to us And now we’re confronted. We can have our hand at it. Try to control its frazzled edges, Which we often do for a while. Then the problem is solved. The puzzle was put together And it’s over and done with. Not a big deal after all. An annoyance really. And we move on with our days. Soon it is forgotten Just like that cat toy.
Why can’t I just be satisfied? The happy, fulfilled factor is always a temporary state. Once I receive my desired dream, shouldn’t I feel bliss all the time? Pesky little irritations should have no power. Is it selfish to do what I want, for a change? Like a short gratitude yoga practice. Can that be allowed? Is there space for me, too? And when I can’t find the space, Exhaustion, overwhelm, irritability And frustration take the helm. Each one is a teacher, A guide that I’ve forgotten to put myself first. The groundwork has not been laid. So, of course, I am easily thrown off course. When you’re stuck in the weeds, All you see is weeds. There is no space for a higher perspective To see a clear pathway out. The pause button is lost, too. Oh, this is my inner warning system That I forgot to check in with myself today. When I connect to myself, Through journaling, yoga, or meditation, I remember that I always have a choice And that I am a work in progress. I fall. I get back up again. I remember. I forget. And that’s okay, too.
Autumn mornings are quiet and dark. There is no bird song, No early sun out my window. Just the hum of taxying planes at the airport. People start their workdays so early. But they showed up So we can all get to our destinations And on with our day. Another example of our interconnection. And the small prayers, the anxious breath, the trust and faith. All on the line. A prayer for safety, A prayer for the pilot and staff Happening right outside my window With each taxying plane. The roaring, powerful jet engines Remind me to breathe and meditate And to send good journey vibes To my fellow travelers in this life.
When life gets complicated, When there’s a distraction at every turn And I feel overwhelmed, Why add a further layer on top of an already full load? I am here. I am present. That’s the only moment that counts. I can embody that space. I can feel love, connection, and gratitude Only when I am in the present moment. Sometimes I forget what’s so profound and simple. But I am willing to learn and re-learn To live this one precious life In the present moment.
Do the leaves hold on to the tree’s branches or is it the tree’s own doing when it comes to ultimately letting go? The leaves have completed their cycle. They were the first buds and sign of spring Opening into colorful blossoms. The blossoms became the green or dark hues Expressing the type of deciduous tree. All shapes and shades of green expanding toward the sky. Next there were the seeds. The future generation of trees were expelled down. Pinwheels of seeds helicoptered below The descent to bring forth descendants. Now that the seeds had done their work, The tree could finally show its true colors. The green transformed to bright oranges, reds and yellows. My oldest calls them the color of the setting sun. The strong autumn breezes help the trees Shed their leaves. And then they are bare, Ready to brace the cold of winter. No fragile blossoms to accidentally freeze. Just the tree and its roots Starkly standing in the white of snow. Forever patient. The cycle can’t be rushed or passed through Because it is nature’s own timing And the tree plays its part. The deciduous tree reminds me That all stages are important. One is not more special than the other. It is a seasonal reminder That life’s moments are brief. And there is beauty and a lesson to behold If I just take nature’s cue.
It’s 9 A.M. on Sunday morning. The booming sound of shots Pierces the quiet atmosphere. Usually like clockwork The shots of gunfire ring like a Sunday sermon. In those moments at the range, You feel connected to a higher power. You may even feel that power in your hands. The handgun is a tool. There’s challenges, targets, and goals. You can set your eyes on the prize. Like all good things It can be loud, hot, and messy With occasional painful flying projectiles Of the shell casings. When the round is complete, We all work together to clean up the debris. Maybe that’s what I crave sometimes. Working together so we can enjoy A distraction and clutter-free space. It’s all in the expectation and communication of the group. We can protect ourselves with safety precautions. Be responsible Americans. The target is clear and tangible. We can see our growth and our setbacks. Each day is an opportunity to try and improve Again and again.