Thursday, February 10, 2011

Truth... is a rock.

Sometimes, I get the feeling that I'm very close to understanding something. Something all around us, everywhere, yet maddeningly out of sight, out of reach. Every time I reach out, I can feel it there, yet there's so many things that come in the way, stop me. 
Truth is... not pretty. It's not smooth, polished, sharp, it's not a made thing. It just is. It's old, shattered, rough-edged. Hold it too tight, it hurts you, makes your hands bleed. Throw it out at someone, it knocks them senseless, kills them. Embrace it too hard, and share the same fate. 
Truth can't be held too long if you're not strong enough; it's heavy. Your hands will start shaking, and you will start dropping everything else just to hold on. You'll sweat, tremble. One by one, all the other things in your life - all the dross, the unnecessary things, the extras, will fall away. Still you hold on, and more precious things will fall, too. Friends.Family. Beliefs. Soon the Truth will be all you have left, and now you're tired, and yet still, you hold on. It will kill you. Slowly. Painfully. 
Lies... are not like this. They're smooth, polished, beautifully engineered artifices. They can slide gently, imperceptibly into the narrowest crack, are light as air, look good on you and are easy to carry. They're soft and comforting. They grow, too. Slowly, gently, imperceptibly, they spread out in all directions, gently intermingling with one another until it's impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. They cover everything, saturate everything, except the rock of Truth. 
Lies are soft and fragile. You can easily cut through them, with hardly any effort; keep cutting, cutting, slashing away, until they lie in tatters, yet there are more, all around, seeping back. You can slash through a soft, enveloping jungle with a sword, keep at it, until you fall in exhaustion and the roots and vines gently grow back over your corpse until it's as if you never existed. 
Shape a truth, and it stays forever. Shatter one, and it never heals. 
You can cut through Lies, but only go around Truth. It can't be obliterated, just hidden, enveloped in a soft, swaddling cocoon of Lies. And there it remains, until the time comes for it to emerge again. 
That's why the Truth makes us all so uncomfortable. Humanity is not flawed; we're artifices ourselves, soft flesh and liquid blood, thoughts and feelings, wetware, vaporware. We can't handle something so rigid, so rough, so alien. It hurts us. We seek refuge in the Lie, because it's like us, soft, understanding, comforting, fragile, impermanent. Truth lies all around us, but we ignore it, shield our dazzled eyes from it's brilliance, slip on our Raybans and our chamois-skin gloves, cap the sharp points with rubber pellets and rough surfaces with Teflon, raise it up upon a pedestal and out of the way so we can get on with our lives. Yet pedestals crumble, and there it comes down, shattering it's encumbrances, smashing back into our world and shocking us into a stone's silence. Then our chatter begins again, slowly, hushed, tentatively, gathering courage, until we can hide it away again. 
That is what it is, and this is what we are. We cannot be Truth, even our ancient calcified bones crumble to powder. All we can do is look upon it, try to understand it, what it is, what it says. 
Even a small shard of Truth is a potent weapon, a powerful instrument. It can change your life. Greater truths require greater men to wield them; lesser ones stumble under the weight, flail about blindly, smashing all around them, laying waste the land in their struggle for control until they fall - either crushed beneath their ambition or stumbling up shamefacedly beside, quickly walking away, covering their tracks. 
Look at the world around you, and you will know this is true. This is reality, this is fact. You will know this briefly, not now, not when you read this, but once in your lifetime. Once in your lifetime you will experience that moment of clarity, of blinding light that sweeps away everything else, shows all for what it is, has been and will be. 
The only question that remains unanswered then is - what will you do, reader, when you experience that? Will you walk away filled with that light, that clarity of thought and purpose, your life become that immovable, unbreakable rock, at the cost of all the softness, the style, the artificiality, the Lies? Or will you forget, wake up the next morning with a hangover and a vague, faint sense of loss, vanishing in the first coffee, the first phone call, the first step into the world outside, yet never completely gone, emerging as a bittersweet, nostalgic discomfort on the lonely dawns the rest of your life? 
Nobody can say. Not me, not them, not you. 
We'll just have to wait and see. 
Or remember.