Writing a magazine article about seeming and being, this morning, left me mulling over the nature of truth as I ate my breakfast.
I’d written about aspects of my childhood, and it left me feeling uneasy. Certainly I’d described reality, the way things were . . . and yet . . .
Can you encompass a life in fifteen hundred words?
What I’d written was true, but in expressing one truth I’d cloaked another – by bringing one aspect into the light I’d thrust another, equal, truth deeper into the shadows. Made things look like something that they were . . . but were not.
Something Oscar Wilde said stopped me in my tracks:
‘I wrote when I did not know life. Now that I do know the meaning of life, I have no more to write. Life cannot be written; life can only be lived.’
Writing is inherently two-dimensional. For all it may seize the imagination, it paints a selective truth. It cannot do justice to the fullness of being, of reality.
Interesting that Jesus said ‘I Am the truth,’ and didn’t write a book.
The way gets more strait, more narrow. I have less and less to say.
I am working on crafting a novel. I’ve promised myself to stick to a thousand words a day. It’s like climbing a wall with small handholds sparsely placed. Not that life lacks depth and wonder, but that I cannot find the vocabulary to communicate the contentment and satisfaction of the simple, the ordinary, or the angular unremitting pain of failure and disappointment. How to speak the truth of the average human heart without doing it the most dreadful disservice? A truth once spoken immediately becomes a lie.