Truth is Written in Pencil

“We are always in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves. We will never be the same, and we have never been quite the way we are right at this moment.”

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel on states of mind in The Developing Mind

Act I

Brunette, tall, average weight-strangely enough-I used to be this strange woman who would bar dance at country club arenas and such. (A very unlikely combination, perhaps?) People gawked on and refused to meet my demands to fork over money for my dancing services, which really looked like I’m-going-to-take-your-lunch-money gestures. I was crazy and demanding but I had to be because some evil conniving Regina wannabe from Once Upon a Time was scheming against me and handing out to the crowd charred bits of glass to throw at me like I was a dart board.

Earlier this morning I sat staring at the mysterious blood on my heel in wonderment of its possible source. It looked as if it had been splattered from somewhere. Neither did my foot look like my own. The warm tawny and granny smith pink colors I had become so accustomed to now dissolved underneath the unsaturated hues of baby blue and ivory furniture. I was hunched over on the floor examining my foot with the anomalous stain.

No one seemed to understand. Why I had to be like this? It was because it was my only defense, and it was my guise. When I saw their hands uncovering glinting sharp objects I knew I was in trouble. So I did what every endangered imaginary dancer would do and I began twirling like mad. Suddenly, glass came raining down, conceptualizing the shattered illusion that we had all fallen prey to. I was not a dancer. I always knew that. I was a kindhearted person and kind of famous. To them, I was a hero. Regina-lookalike fumed in the corner, jumping over the backs of people’s shoulders, outraged yet confused that her invincible veil had unraveled. Roses were strewn about and we trampled over fine bits of glass that nicked us here and there, but we paid it no mind. We were free. We were happy. We were who we really were supposed to be.

I sat on that floor this morning and sat. I reached around, fumbling for some kind of evidence to explain what had just happened. There I found several books underneath the bedside stand draped in navy blue cloth. Everything seemed to revolve around this queen sized bed centered in the room. I saw clothes that looked familiar but they look commonplace in comparison to what I was just wearing moments ago. How did I go from being one person to another and then back again? Or was I really back at all?


Truth is subjective. I have been reading a book entitled The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living. It is a compilation of different Native American parables, key moments in the history and personal reflections by the author, Joseph M. Marshall III, all specific to the  values and wisdom of their particular tribe. He  recounts in one chapter their philosophy about the concept of truth:

But when all is said and done there is only one truth that is unwavering. It has endured and will always endure because it will stand unabashedly and without apology. That truth is death, and it is the one that is avoided and most feared by American society. But it should be the standard for truth against which all others are measured and we will find that nothing can compare with its honesty and faithfulness.

As Marshall states, “truth is what we make it” because it has a self-gratifying and self-fulfilling component. The Lakota word for truth is wowicake (pronounced wo-wee-jah-keh) as that which is real or the way the world is. The funny thing about that is “the way the world is” sums up to a matter of individual experiences composing that “is”, which transitively describes the state of the world in the first place. 

Act II

I stood up once I realized there was nothing I could do. In the jubilant uprising of all these people I somehow broke through a former identity and exploded into a new one, a more real one that felt anything but fictional. My face looked the same when I stood up and stumbled over to the mirror, but it still was difficult for me to recognize it. Apparently I was back to “normal” judging by the proof I found while flipping through a handheld sketch diary. It enveloped a partially finished sketch of a self-portrait; and the image of the girl certainly looked like me.

Today dripped on and off like the tip of a icicle clinging to the edge of house. I continued sifting through all these foreign items, feeling detached still but slowly conjuring up lost memories about their context, about the time and place and setting i had been when I wrote them. I sat down not too long after lunch and began cutting, sorting, reviewing, hole-punching and gluing. Within moments I had compiled a binder with five tabs, one of which was to house significant notes from some rather philosophical lessons. I encountered an inscription written so assuredly and boldly in blue ink:

“There are just different levels of truth. The deepest level of truth uncovered by science and philosophy is the fundamental truth of unity…you + me = 1″


For the first time, I was able to reflect upon something more concrete than any other notion or uncertain memory that occurred to me; and that concrete realization was that I felt as abstract as ever. It was then in that moment of contradicting bewilderment yet clarity, that I realized I should have written such a statement-a statement about something so transient as truth-in pencil.

Inspired by the Daily Prompt: Clean Slate


3 thoughts on “Truth is Written in Pencil

  1. Pingback: As You Find Your Voice, Ask Yourself These Questions | A Life Inspired

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