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One of the handy things about being a divorce and family lawyer in my own practice is that I am free to choose the face I present to the world. “Play your strengths,” says the common wisdom. “Do what sets you apart from the herd… as long as you don’t leave the pasture.”
I have never been a “corporate” person, and I prefer the flexibility of relating to clients personally, instead of following a standardized policy. Call me on the telephone, and if either I, my associate attorney Tara Hutchinson or my paralegal Deborah are immediately available, you will get a human voice and not some computer asking you to play a symphony on your keypad just to reach somebody’s voice mail. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my work, but if I took myself as seriously as I take my professional responsibilities, I would find life much less satisfying. So, how far away from the herd is too far? Now you get to decide.
I enjoy creative writing as well as professional writing, and the painful occasion of my own separation from my former wife was an inspiration to pick up my pen. I wanted to see if I could create something positive out of such a negative experience. I recommend that sort of constructive attitude to anyone going through a difficult transition, especially when you were not the one who made the choice to face it. Healing happens, and I have found that it happens best when you let yourself see past the grief and anger, to accept that what happens next depends very much on the choices you make right now, just when you least want to focus on anything outside of your own pain and sense of loss. Author Neil Gaiman had it right: when facing the most difficult times of your life, make good art.
Being something of a traditionalist like many in my profession, I prefer the classical forms. The sonnet has long been my favorite. I offer you a piece I wrote shortly after my separation:
The sun has set at last, its passing light
A faded blessing, embers of the pyre
That once consumed a sky now burnt to night
(Where flicker tiny echoes of its fire).
These rooms that knew her smile are much the same.
A candle’s teardrop gutters; tiny spark
To set new shadows dancing with the flame,
And summon back the twilight to the dark.
Oh, poisoned glow! to mock a time now gone
And show the secret spring beneath each eye;
How can I turn ahead to greet the dawn
When in my heart, the day has yet to die?
Small friend, be now my sweet departed sun:
Until your wax is gone, we burn as one.
I leave it for you to decide, whether a hard-boiled old warhorse of a Pittsburgh divorce lawyer like myself can also show a sensitive and artistic side before the public, and still appear professional. If not, I invite you to turn your attention to the other, more practical and informative offerings on this site.
If you need legal assistance with your divorce or family law matter in Southwestern Pennsylvania, call my office to set up a personal consultation with an affordable family lawyer and to learn more about Pennsylvania no fault divorce and how it affects you. This blog will feature periodic updates. Consider subscribing! Please do not comment anonymously, and do not post anything that you consider confidential. I try to be responsive to commentary and questions, but know that posting here will not create an attorney/client relationship and that I will not offer legal advice via the Internet.
Michael B. Greenstein
Greenstein Family Law Services, P.C.
1789 S. Braddock Avenue, Suite 590
Pittsburgh, PA 15218