The truth aches. The truth sucks. The truth wags its tongue at me and pretends to be my friend. The truth shows me absolute beauty, absolute hope and then uncovers the ugliness that lies beneath. The truth strips my soul from its very foundation, while it answers my deepest, most needed questions. It moves around me until I don’t know what is truth and what is real. It moves as gracefully as life itself, around my arms, around my legs and eventually around the very being I proclaim as mine.
And the truth distorts. How many times have I been given a compliment, about my face, about my writing, about my soul? And how many times have I seen a truth that is so distorted from that simple grace that I can not accept it.
Why is it that I look in the mirror and see something so completely different? Is it because I need glasses? Reading glasses, perhaps? And am I near-sighted or far-sighted? And does it really matter as I can’t keep those two straight to save my life. Is it in my eyes, or perhaps, as some might say it is in my brain.
And how do I replace my brain? How do I train my brain to see and know what others do? Because it isn’t enough to just see, I actually have to know. And is the fault in my brain, or perhaps those that are giving such sincere praise have faults in their brain? And do I tell them? Or do I continue on my single quest to simply say, ‘thank you’ each and every time. And is thank you enough?
The questions are even more ridiculous than the truth I am trying to understand.
A wise man (or possibly a stupid man, or a wise woman, or even a dumb child) once said, “Truth is our reality, and our reality is our perception.” I find comfort in these words, despite the fact it took me about a month to break them down in enough concepts I could actually understand. So let me tell you what the truth of these words mean to me: what I see, what I feel, what I believe is my reality. And that reality colors all of my perceptions. Everything I think, I know only because my senses – those lovely eyes, elegant ears, etc. etc. – have told me this is so. And because I am different from everyone else, with different experiences and different life sorrows, my truth can never be the same as yours.
We could delve into the idea of math and science and whether that is clouded by perception and therefore truth; and Galileo himself would probably make the most compelling argument. Today, the truth as I know it may change tomorrow. The sun may not be the center of the universe, the two plus two may not equal four all the time, and the world may be far more complex than what we can find in a book.
The truth is a tricky thing. It, while colored by our perception, is also a living and breathing entity. It moves, it changes, it circles around us and causes us to fall on our face. It is never stagnant, and some would say it is never boring, but it is also never a reliable source.
You may sincerely believe that your husband doesn’t love you. You may honestly believe that your boss hates you. You may be able to swear on a bible that the sun will rise tomorrow. But the truth is, the truth is never that simple. It never sits down and allows us to throw a rope over it for our own convenience.
Life isn’t about truth; although I know that for me the quest to find truth is important. Life is made up of billions, maybe trillions of different brains. Brains that think, brains that function, and brains that simply look for the next flower to land upon. And in all those brains lies a separate truth. And that truth aches.
The next time you convince yourself that you know the truth, that the man you love is exactly who you think he is, or that your child is not doing all that they possibly could, remember that truth is, for lack of a better word, relative. The truth that you know is only what you know. And that truth always, and completely has another side. Who knows maybe tomorrow that child you despair of will figure out that two plus two can sometimes equal three.