What am I doing here at 12:04 a.m., listening to She & Him and sliding open the patio door before I sit down at the kitchen counter? Blogging for the first time since Easter, for one thing. I’ve begun and deleted a few posts in the last week and a half. Each time I begin to gather my thoughts they scatter before I can finish a paragraph, so I’m not promising any coherence in this attempt either.
My sister, with whom I live, is in China for two weeks. This leaves me with a home to myself and plenty of quiet in which to think. I haven’t decided if that has proven to be a positive or a negative. It’s a bit of both, quite likely. On several occasions lately my mind has been consumed by the idea of living honestly. Easter night and last night were the greatest contributors to this theme, each due to very particular and separate struggles. Let me see if I can explain. It is not the simple opposite of telling lies. Rather, it is the appeal to be honest – stripped, to lack a cover or veil – in answers, in reactions, in interplay. I have this heavy sense of wasting time with pretending. As I catch myself at the start of a pretense, whether with another or with myself, I cannot follow through on it.
It’s a terribly unsafe way to live. Vulnerability, risk, misunderstanding – these are its results. But maybe more will come besides… maybe courage, maybe integrity, maybe fewer regrets and more glad-I-took-them chances. Truth faced, even in its bitter or thorny forms, is to be preferred to pretense, isn’t it? If nothing else I think I might stand surer in who I am and who I am not, in what I need to give and what I need to receive. Heroines parade through my mind and I see what I’m aiming for in this. Cassandra Mortmain, Emily Byrd Starr, Lily Bart as an antithesis… Lucy Honeychurch most of all.
“…let yourself go. You are inclined to get muddled, if I may judge from last night. Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.”
(E M Forster, A Room With a View)