Saturday, June 4, 2016

Story: The Honest Lie

The truth is not always visible. This statement means truth is not always apparent or discernible even when present; it also raises issues of what truth, whether visible or not, is, and if it is a single, verifiable thing, or somewhat of a mixed bag, depending on who references it. 

What, indeed, is the outcome of two individuals having the belief that each has seen or expressed the truth, only to discover a wide variation in their report? One outcome, in fact your favorite, is story, which, by your definition, begins with a number of individuals--at least two--entering a scene, each with the firm conviction of being right.

You recall from a distant childhood being directed to tell the truth, by your parents, at Sunday school, and, for a time, in the secular grammar school you attended. From this perspective, you have no associations of pain, duress, or even boredom connected to the dictum. So far as your memory goes, your biggest take away from the education was that you not invent facts or events, reporting only what you knew or believed to be true.

This leads back to a positive expression of what truth is to counter the incomplete negative expression, a lie, in which truth is not an invention of fact, detail, or outcome. Truth is actual fact or outcome, which in turn are actuality and the manner in which events played out.  

In your experiences with facts, inventions, and deliberate distortions of fact, you noticed early on how a quality of tact was called for in the dissemination of verifiable event or opinion, and how some individuals, ranging from your peers to adults, tended to distort outcomes to make them seem noteworthy or even outstanding, thus your early awareness of what you would later understand to be irony.

You also discovered your enjoyment of inventing outcomes and the occasional manufacturing of facts, both things you understood were necessary for you to do with a modicum of success if you were to achieve your goals associated with becoming a writer. 

In a way you came to understand as vital, you learned how an invented narrative where the final outcome caused you embarrassment was preferable to the invented narrative in which your skills were broadcast. 

Truth, whether quite apparent or most occult, has taken on a meaninfg for you in which it represents events and outcomes in which you have no stake in their outcome, events, conditions; outcomes where you have no direct experience but take on the word--honesty, if you will--of others persons; and events, outcomes, and implications where your version has value.

The importance of truth to you has undergone a curious, ironic trip, thanks to your persistent attempt to create devices,simulacrums or stories, as it were, that give the appearance of visible and factual presence although manufactured from an amalgam of imagination, distortion/exaggeration, personal experience and conviction, and from observed accounts.

A substantial reason why you were attracted to inventing realities in which you presented imaginary individuals and events as actual came from your early boredom with Reality as you found it, and from the relative lack of structure you saw in Reality that you did not see in fiction, or invented Reality.  

Even though some of your characters might be as disorganized as you, there is a sense in fiction of an order you admire, if only to allow you the added satisfaction of leaving some disorder in your kitchen or closet.

You both enjoy and fear puzzles, wondering at times if Reality is a gigantic puzzle to be solved rather than a joke to endure. You enjoy looking for hidden truths that may be playing teasing games with you in the events and information you encounter. If there are jokes to be found, you wonder if they are on you, from you, or for you.

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