Saturday, October 13, 2012

What's the big deal about truth?

Two mental things happened today that were weird.  Very early in the morning I had a desire to be near an old friend that I had lost for many years and now only contact through Facebook.  We had been copywriters together at Grey Advertising.  We had written copy for Hamilton Watches, Bostonian Shoes and some British fabric company.  We were both newly married and joked about how we had to adjust our personalities when we went home to our new husbands.  After being tough and smart all day we had to go home and be soft and dumb.  I went to my friend’s Facebook page and read through her recent posts.  I looked at a recent picture of her and felt such a strong affection that it almost made me cry.

Later in the day, I was reading Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad - a book that is unlike anything else I’ve ever read in it’s ability to hone in on the absolute truth of a situation without making a big deal about it.  It is a book that instructs: truth changes from moment to moment and you have to be alert if you want to take advantage of noticing it. 

Then I asked myself, what’s the big deal about truth, why is it so important?
There are many who say, I can’t stand a liar.  I won’t tolerate lying.  I’ve never felt that way although Jennifer Egan finally taught me this morning why truth is important.  Truth is the only reliable comfort we have. 
I’m not talking about the “I didn’t take the money, I didn’t eat the cookie,” kind of truth.  Jennifer Egan’s truth is sudden, powerful and presents only to those paying attention.

During a safari in the novel, there is a scene between a quiet, reflective boy and his regular comatose successful father.  At eleven years old, Rolph knows two clear things about himself.  He belongs to his father. And his father belongs to him. When I read that line, I had a mental parade of some relationships.  Huh! 


  1. Wow, this is a powerful article yet again from your site. Now I'm really interested with Jennifer Egan's book, it seems really enjoyable and insightful.

    1. Berta, so happy to have your comment. Jennifer Egan is one of tmy best discoveries of 2012. She makes me think on almost every page.