I don't tell the truth!

I ain't lyin'! I'm actually a very bad liar. But that doesn't mean I'm a bastion of absolute veracity either.

This isn't a confession, in the usual sense of the word. This isn't about those times I've told you I was late because of heavy traffic when actually I just had to kill that Revenant blocking the way to the Anvil of the Void so I could save the game and leave the house. It's not about saying I've been to almost 300 Dead shows when it's actually only about 250. And it's certainly not about telling you I'm fine when I'm actually chewing nails over whatever small thing was driving me up the wall shortly before your untimely appearance.

No, no. We'd all be here forever, exchanging small confessions of no interest whatsoever if that was what I meant.

No, what I mean is that whatever I write - musings, reviews, political statements, novels - has, at most, a transitory relationship to absolute truth. Or maybe it would be better described as a sliver of truth. A tiny sliver of how I see the world from my limited perspective at any one point in time.

Try a little experiment. Get together with a friend or two, stand right next to each other with a camera, and take a picture of some one thing right in front of you, each of you holding the camera at eye level. Now compare the pictures. Carefully. Each one will be just a little bit different. There will be a tiny slice more on one side. A tiny slice less on the other. Tall people might have a bit more sky. Shorter folks a little more lawn.

Now picture the world's people - all of them - forming an enormous circle around a single point - the globe. Even without taking culture into consideration, each one sees something different. None of it is a lie. But neither is any of it an absolute truth. Except in the sense of limited perspective at any one point in time.

Remember Walt Whitman's words, Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. Those multitudes are the voices of the world around us, someone next to me telling me there is more in their picture than there is in mine.

So if you notice a discrepancy in what I say, if you notice a contradiction, keep it in mind. I don't tell the truth. Not the whole truth, anyway. If I'm able to describe what I do see, it is at most a tiny truth. Something that might be added to yours. Something that might be changed by another's.

And that's about as true as anyone can get.