Saturday, August 7, 2010

Truth or Consequences

We are no more what we say than air is wind.
When we can penetrate the lies we do
not know we tell, and see for one moment
what we protect, we can begin to know.
Knowledge is a perfect mirror--bright, sharp,
hard, and cold--a knife all blade, no handle,
that cuts what it touches as easily
as it reflects light. To know truth invites
hardship and a long unknowing. And so
we avoid the knife as long as we can,
or many of us do; but some, wiser
perhaps, or more daring, learn the art of
naked steel, learn the caress of the blade
that opens up all. Knowledge is hard, but
not so stony and unyielding as willed
ignorance; it's blade cuts deep and yet heals.
To choose not to know is to lean too far
out a window without a sill, to stretch
our bodies out on the thin wind of a
perpetual fall, no skillful clean cut,
nor surgical strike; no--rather an all
out plummet to a meaningless blot,
a rorschach. Pain either way, no matter
what people end up thinking, no matter
which we choose. So, why not truth? Pain then in
the service of an end that brings us
all together, soldiers-in-arms against
the same sad nameless terminal disease.


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