…and shame the devil.
That’s the brave challenge I imagine you issuing, dear Reader, given the pretentious name of this blog. But do you really want me to take on the devil? Have you read some CS Lewis or something?
Let’s put it another way. Is telling the truth necessary for good writing, writing that people like reading? No, obviously not. Mainly because we’re not capable of it.
The truth would only be found in something like the Akashic Record. That might sound like an ancient idea, but it was actually invented by Blavatsky & Co. in the 19th Century, and touted by hippies in the last one.
For the sake of argument, belief in Akasha isn’t needed. Just imagine a full and complete record of everything. Every incident with all its background and circumstances. What was done, said, felt, and thought. All of it, for all time, unchangeable.
Expensive to record, archive and maintain such a record? No problem – on Planet Akaksha, there’s an energy tree powered by time-looped anti-entropy perpetual motion. Or whatever. Free energy. In another dimension, basically: Dimension Akasha.
Here on Planet Earth there’s truth with a small ‘t’. (Actually, the word ‘truth’ only ever has a small ‘t’, except for believers.) For humans, truth is slippery, and – embarassingly for the Crown of Creation – impossible to grasp.
We may not be capable of truth. We might know that, and be up for some postmodern fun. But we know what truth – however amusingly diffracted into multiple realities – sounds like. Ring it!
Say I wanted to write about a difficulty I’m having with a member of my, er, extended family. My wife’s family, really. Her sister.
So I had a legal confrontation with her about their dear departed mother’s will. Their mother was blameless, the will was clear – the house was to be divided between four sisters.
This one was the executor. But she thought she was the executive. She didn’t discuss selling the house in order to share it. She lived in the house. Made no attempt to sort things out.
On behalf of the other three, I teed up the law. Her sisters would take her to court if she didn’t cough up. So she did.
Maybe she thought she was protecting them. Given what two of them did with their money, maybe she was right. She’s rated as a good cook, so she can’t be all bad. And she’s disabled. With polio. She also has a small portfolio of rented properties. You couldn’t make it up.
I made her do the right thing. Which she resents, of course. I put a stop to her arrogant mismanagement of her mother’s will. Unforgiveable.
She and my wife are currently friendly, and she and I tolerate each other. But I think she’s secretly seething and avenging herself by demanding more and more of my wife’s time, especially in the evenings, especially Friday and Saturday evenings.
Going out or not, Saturday evening’s special. Even sitting on the couch watching TV. She’s stealing that from me.
My wife knows I don’t like it. She says her sister’s on her own, and there’ s nothing special about Saturday, now all the days are the same in covid lockdown.
My wife doesn’t understand me. Ain’t that the half-truth?
Did you like reading that, dear Reader? If so, I told you the the truth – the writer’s truth. If not (or, worse, it was OK, but – blah blah blah), it’s the Limbo step for me.