Monday, June 16, 2008

Sometimes, we say it exactly right

When a person compliments an article or a short story, they often say "Nice piece".

Never, 'nice whole' or even "nice 9/16ths" because writing, even at it's best, can only capture a piece of a larger truth.

This smallness is both the beauty and the the ugliness of writing. The beauty is the attempt to create a truth in as few words as possible. The ugliness is in the utter futility of the exercise.

But, somewhere along the way, you become comfortable with this inherent inability to create a whole truth with pen and paper and come to embrace the 'lie by omission'.

Because if we couldn't make peace with the lie or the half-truth or the piece of the piece that isn't the whole truth then we couldn't write anything at all.

A world of blank pages may be more truthful, but infinitely more boring.

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