Open Season (25 of 90)
I’m not, by nature, an extremely open individual.
An odd statement, I know, considering the fact that I’ve laid bare most of my demons and foibles in public. I’ve lived part of my life, since 1984, online. I’ve posted thoughts and random musings without care of how they might – or will – come back to me.
I’ve never much worried – or the times when I did worry have sufficiently passed into the ether that I don’t remember a time when they existed, which is functionally the same idea — about how people may use my words. I guess that’s the part of me that allows me to be a writer. I know a truth about these words that others don’t think about: they are not real.
Which isn’t to say that I’m lying. I am not. What you read here, I promise, is as much of the truth as I can muster. There are some stories that don’t get told, for sure, but the stories that make it here are true. Or true enough. They are truthful.
But I am not honest. And aye, that makes all the difference.
Merriam-Webster, online edition:
honest: free from fraud or deception; marked by free, forthright and sincere expression
This is not to suggest that I am intentionally dis-honest or that I have set about deceiving you. Simply to acknowledge that there are parts of me that will never make it to this blog, will never make it to the larger public sphere and never be shared outside of my small Inner Circle.
I have not decided whether I believe this to be a good decision or I believe this to be the easy way out. Possibly is happens to be both.
I do know that it’s important to acknowledge that there’s almost no way this can ever be honest. Not completely. Because there will be times when I intentionally keep everything from you. I have to.
Merriam-Webster, online edition:
truth: the body of real things, events, and facts
Which isn’t to say that I will lie to you. I won’t. When I write my stories, I will not hold back. It’s not fair to do such things. What you read here is, to the best of my ability, the truth of things. Or my truth of things.
Where I am not sure, I try to point that out. I am not always successful, but in that respect, it is an honest attempt.
I bring all of this up because of a conversation I had today. About contentment. Finding that stillness of life that we all so desperately search for, that parcel of the planet where we can retreat to when the jungle animals get to much.
It’s such a simple idea, this contentment, but one that I have muddled with for so many years. I think back through the murkiness of my life, the parts of my life that I desperately kept hidden from everyone – even my loved ones – that eroded the relationships I had.
I think back to the dis-honestly and the un-truths that I constructed around my life. These dis-honests and un-truths that others – with nothing else to go on – simply accepted as real. That others used, in some manner, to build into their lives’ foundations.
These people who realized, one day, that what they thought was honest and truthful was, in fact, not.
I see this, now, reflected in the eyes of new friends – the people who didn’t know me before – as they share their similar stories. As they share the destructions of their contentments. I see how others have been hurt by the people like me who stampeded through their lives.
The power of dis-honesty is the thing that we fear the most from other people. It’s the invisible force that slowly erodes hope and joy and tomorrow.
I cannot be honest with you always. But I am a writer and you a reader, so I suspect that is okay. I am truthful about what I write, and you have been generous with your time and comments. We seem to have settled into a symbiotic relationship in that way.
I hope that you are okay with my lack of honesty, though.
I – and I think we – save our honesty for those we want to keep closest. We are, if nothing else, as real as we will ever be with those we love. Which is more powerful that truth will ever be.
Because truth, you see, can be seen; Honestly can only be felt.