The Truth as We Know It

April 28, 2010

I was listening to an interview with Mary Karr. She was talking about her third memoir, a book she didn’t want to be just another “drunk-a-log.” In fact, she didn’t like the direction that her first draft was going,  so she threw the first 2000 words away and started over.

Mary was trying to handle the “truth.” And yet the truth can be a slippery fish. Her narrative thus far in her life had always been that her father left her. But one day she realized that she was the one who packed up and left when she was a teenager. She left. And in that moment she learned that oftentimes “the soundbite that you remember… was wrong.”

I listened as she talked about that moment when everything shifted. When “the world whirls around and you’re standing in a different spot,” and I recalled similar instances in my own life. Those moments when one’s course is violently changed by a shift in memory, and the new path is an unfamiliar one. I have found those moments to be both frightening and thrilling at once. In hindsight I see them as such positive moments. We survive them. And we thrive because of them if we choose, with our heart’s compass, to clear our own path of truth.

A nice thing… cataclysmic shifts in our memories, and choosing to embark on the resultant new landscape.

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3 Responses to “The Truth as We Know It”

  1. Kim Ashby said

    Love this! Such great insight!

  2. Well said. I love the Buddhist idea that the only thing you can say with absolute certainty is that _this_ is what is happening, right this moment. I think that if that moment says that something you’ve always believed is wrong, you have to go with that.

  3. Dennis Knight said

    This is a truth that too many resist. Perspective often alters truth. The desire to see circumstances from another view is what allows for the kind of growth that the sincerest folks long for. Bah! Look at me. Talk about preaching to the choir.

    This was gorgeous and splendidly done.

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