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Sunday, November 1, 2015
I lied – NOVA this week (October 31, 2015)
Observations from my weekly wanderings, usually in Northern Virginia (NOVA).
I have serious doubts as to whether I will deem this fit for publishing, but if you’re reading it – I guess I did.
I realized today, that I’ve been lying for the past month or so, that is, that I’ve repeatedly been telling the same lie again and again.
When someone asks me “How are you?” I invariably say, “pretty good” or “fine” or at the worst “OK”.
But the truth is I’m not OK; I’m rather miserable. There’s a circumstance in life that is stealing my joy. I won’t be going into it, so don’t ask. It’s just a circumstance. It’s terribly sad, because it is completely unnecessary, and has made a number of people miserable.
My point though is not the circumstance; the circumstance will pass. My point is I’ve lied about how I am.
Why? I think for starters, I don’t want sympathy, much less pity. I don’t want to burden others with something they didn’t cause and cannot affect.
Well for starters I think that’s true, but I don’t think it’s the whole truth. If I’m honest with myself, I think there’s a little pride behind it. I’m generally known as a cheerful guy, unflappable even and I suspect I take some pride in that.
So I smile and say I’m fine, even though I am not.
And I may owe an apology to ole Virginia Woolf. I’ve been critical of the duplicity of her characters and the stark contrast between their public façade, and private thoughts, only to discover the same disingenuousness in myself.
It’s also given me an improved opinion of stream of consciousness writing. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think it will ever be my favorite form of writing, but I begin to appreciate the challenge and vulnerability of the form. Our consciousness is an incredibly complex thing. We seldom think in full sentences, with linear logic, or subject – verb agreement, etc. Our thoughts would be a garbled mess to anyone else (sort of like reading Woolf, Faulkner, or Joyce), but they make perfect sense to our own self. I don’t think it makes for great storytelling, but I’ll admit it takes some skill of the writer.
Well anyway, they say confession is good for the soul, and it also seemed like a challenging writing topic. Again, I don’t want sympathy. For those who are on speaking terms with the Lord of Circumstance, you may intercede on my behalf if you like. I would appreciate that.
Now I must plan a more honest response to the inevitable greetings I’ll receive tomorrow.
Live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.