There is always someone who will disagree with me. This lesson, I must learn. Fortunately, that is the happy luck of being a writer: my message isn’t measured by how many disagree or how many agree. Alas, my dear pets, the only barometer is my own Truthometer - how much of my own Truth is expressed.
I do believe there is one Truth. Before you go thinking I’m a neo-conservative freak, I also happen to believe that it is infinitely impossible for any of us to grasp it; in its beauty, in its simplicity, in its depth. “Truth,” as Punctious Pilat once asked, “What is that?”
You see? Even when standing inches from the big JC, this person could not recognize Truth. Be not mistaken, this is not about anti-Semitism. It is about our gloriously innate inability to see truth, even when it is in front of us.
Today, I caught up with a few friends on the phone. One friend in D.C. struggling with the transient and nomadic lifestyle she has chosen. Another in Boston choosing a new job, new location. My NYC friends deciding over lovers, which medication to take for strep throat, or if Craig’s list is all that reliable. Another Cincinnati amiga wondering when the world will recognize her gay life as beautiful. Another whose father had open heart surgery but keeps dancing to Sir Mix Alot's Baby Got Back. My Hawaiian sistah is going back to her partner who used the L-word last week.
I listen deeply to my friends. They are reflective, pained, and wild. I choose them carefully. My friends, like myself and the rest of the human race, oscillate between choosing what is Truth and almosTruth in their lives. Sometimes we choose the untrodden pathway but keep the clear one in sight in case of...in case. Under fear, my friends tend to doubt, question, and tremble their thoughts into anxiety. They ask me what I think, what is my opinion. Irrelevant, I say. What I think is irrelevant. And then I give it anyway.
My friends remind me how beautiful emotion is, how raw and untamed feelings run. Their voices are like quiet streams when they cry and roaring lionesses when betrayed. Particularly when confused, emotion seeps out to reveal Truth in some way. Their stories remind me of what is true in this crazy mudball called Earth.
So, a tribute to the Truth-seeking, irreplaceable, soul-shaking, wonderfully inconvenient companions in my life: a few quotes from the past several weeks. You keep me real and gasping. You keep me Truthful. Thank you.
“I shouldn’t have let him go.”
“I know it’s right because…because…I just know.”
“I’m eating, walking, and waiting for the train as I talk to you. My life is too much.”
“My father ignores it all and hopes it goes away.”
“I wanted mid-day sex. Thank God I wore a skirt.”
“Don’t you think that’s a defense mechanism?”
“Should I go home? No! I shouldn’t. But, wait, why am I here?”
“Gretchen said not to tell you because you’d be jealous.”
"Dustin drove into a pole. I'm glad he's alright, but really, what an idiot."
"People are settling down. They're married. With children! I'm a barista."
“Highschool. I was, like, an eternal fifth wheel.”
"I'll tell you what the world doesn't need: another person trying to be something they are not."
"I had no idea he was doing all this just so his cousin could try to sell me a friggin rug."
"Having children? No, I don't think so. They just...no."
"She slept with Steve. What a bitch. I'm so jealous."
“How could you see that movie? How could you support that actor?”
"I am sorry. I am sorry for all the suffering I caused."
"I guess, but I don't know how else I would have done it. I have no regrets."
"Send me something. I need to make this place a home."
“Is there one person who has never missed an ex? It’s inhuman not to.”
"I can't describe her. She's amazing...No, I can't describe her."
"I made a garden. I grow snow peas. I grow things."
"Nothing could have changed how incompatible we were. Nothing."
"They pay for in vitro. How can I walk away from that?"
"We're so connected. I could feel you coming closer."
"I'm having an affair."
“You’re right. I’m right. They’ll never, never understand me.”
“This is ridiculous. I love you.”
"Even I'm getting teary-eyed. What the hell?"
“I’m leaving to go play Frisbee with Chris on the National Mall. What are you doing?”
“I’m at a rock concert.”
"I'm at Day 2 of the Bar Exam: I'm gonna pass this thing."
“I’m heading to Jason’s boss’ birthday party. Doesn't that sound exciting?”
“I’m at work. Where else would I be?”
"I'm at a wedding in Alaska."
"Still in Boston."
“I just got back from hiking a volcano in Kuaia.”
All to which I always respond, “I refuse to hear anything that makes you doubt yourself. I believe in you. I believe in your life. Live it and live it well.”