Human beings cannot endure such clarity. We make statues, apply paint, and use words with hidden allusions, writes Rumi. Here is a story about applying paint: encouragement is met with rejection. Pride is a rude full stop in communication: people cannot bear it when their navel shows, even to their well-wishers, even though we all have belly buttons - the very sign that we are human.
Pride is like a virus, sometimes rejected, sometimes swelling up, lashing out at the very hands of help we seek during our last levelheaded utterance, before being in the throes of the disease. And conceit is just one of the ways in which we hide from ourselves. Which isn't so bad, unless we take our hiding seriously, losing sight of the paradoxes that might save us.
Some of the difficult truths in life - like of oppressive relatives - tidily creep into ghost stories, a genre that can contain the horror. Or when politics does a drunken tango - it one-steps into novels, like Dumas' Count of Montecristo, where fiction relieves all the particularities of anguish otherwise swept under the carpet called theory.
We can only theorise about how much experience has been hidden into myth, which appears to us mere but entertainment when we have lost its cypher.
Let us talk about that Delphic moment, when we emit a cryptic sound meant to be heard, before we "apply paint". Is that the moment when we reach the attic of the soul, seeing whatever painting is up there - however it differs from the image we wish, so desperately, to see of ourselves? I know this moment well, so many disappointments despite the good old college try. I'd elaborate, but this blog post is called Portraits, and the portrait is traditionally made when we are at our best. There is a reason for the cosmetics of civilization: we are not content with the bad-hair-day of mistakes, but strive towards improvement.
And where we remain stunted within - this, to the Victorian imagination, became relegated to the fantastic, which was not so much fantastic as confessional. So, I ask this of the fictional, of the world of "lies" - is there not something of truth in some lies? On the contrary, in some presentations of the "truth", is there also much that is a lie? I cite history as my example.
Lies in truth. The most banal example of this that I can think of is the movie Housesitter, where Goldie Hawn's character fabricates lies, which lead to a truth: of love. I think that reality may sometimes emerge from the lines between truth and fiction. Halfway between what we are and where we want to be.