No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. -Aristotle

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. -Edgar Allen Poe

You should never doubt what nobody is sure of. -Willy Wonka-

In the end, we all become stories. -Margaret Atwood


Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Do You Know About Truth?

Truth. Fact. Fiction.

Truth is fluid. It is not a belief, a solid state, or finality. Truth is based on the moment, as in “the moment of truth,” because that moment and that truth will change. You change. Your truth in 8th grade is you will marry and live happily ever after. Your truth, after your divorce, is that marriage is not always happy or for ever after.

This should relieve some of the burden – of truth.

Fact is solid. It is evidence of a piece of time. Tuesday, she wore a blue dress. This morning, I had a headache. Right now, it is raining.

Nothing but the facts, ma’am. Yes, your honor. No mom, I didn’t do it. Hey teach – my dog swallowed my memory stick.

But wait, aren’t these the same? Does this mean fact is also fluid? She won’t always wear a blue dress, I won’t always have a headache and marriage won’t always end in divorce.

Maybe truth is personal. It's all about you. Yet another piece used to complete the puzzle of your existence.

“There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral:
namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths.” – Albert Camus

Do you believe what people tell you? How about what fiction tells you? Furthermore, why do you believe fiction is possible but some truths are impossible?

She cut off her child’s limbs because the voices told her to. Truth? No. Fact? Yes. Your mind can not conceive this so you relegate it to the fact file – you don’t want it to be true, you don’t want it to be possible.

He ran to the burning car, climbed in, and pulled the infant out of the car seat. Truth? Yes. Fact? No. You get this, you relate to this, you want to believe you can be this person who saves an infant’s life – you need it to be possible.

Fiction is truth and fact and embellishment, a disconnect from our perceived reality. A dash of this, a pinch of that, the result being a world of characters whom you may, or may not, want to know, who live in a world you may, or may not, want to inhabit. But don’t you recognize some of these people? Don’t you at times, recognize yourself?

It all gets mixed up in life as well as in fiction. The truth in chapter one may be different in chapter six. The fact is that truth will change.

As paradoxical as this may seem, what matters is that you genuinely reflect that moment of truth in your writing and in your life.

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