Chronologically Challenged

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I am, it has to be said, a little challenged when it comes to lying.  Oh, of course I do it - everybody lies.  Everybody lies and if they tell you they don't ... etc.  I generally lie when my back is against the wall and there is something someone wants to know and I'm either not ready or able to tell them about it, or I don't know how to tell them about it without hurting their feelings.  But I can't say I even do that very often (unless, of course, I do it all the time, and the real lying is the sort going on from myself to myself, but for all that I can see, that's not the case).

In the grand scheme of things, keeping it honest is for me the best kind of personal policy.  Some of that has to do with the fact that my memory is basically kinda shithouse, and if I lie about stuff then I have to remember I've lied about it, and all sorts of complications start happening then in a world that already smacks me about the head with its over-complication every morning before brekky.

I like the feel of honesty.  I'm too honest sometimes - I have been known in past incarnations to suffer foot in mouth disease.  The face in front of me drops after I've said something.  Sometimes I say something and realise, after it hits the air, that no, no, no, that's not what I meant.  It sounds much worse than it did in my head, and I wish I could take it back and say it better, in another way that more accurately reflects what I am really trying to get at.  I can say though, thankfully, that I have improved on this in recent years, so whoever said miracles are not possible doesn't know me :)

I like the feel of honesty because it feels like a big spacious field full of grass and trees and cows and me and nothing else.  Whirling-around space.  That's how being honest feels to me, and chuck in a semi-trailer full of conscientiousness and it means that if you come to me with a question and a desire for feedback about yourself, and it's the kind of question that is delicate and could hurt your ego but you want to know, I'll tell you.  'Cause sometimes you want feedback and everybody around you is too scared to tell you.  I reckon that's some sort of sacred ground, really.  Those situations make my stomach clench, but they also make me feel honoured that someone would trust me enough to come with their hands full up with vulnerable and ask for my help.

I've just been watching Neil Gaiman address a gang of newly-graduated American university students.  In it he talks about how he got his first journalistic breaks - by lying, basically.  To score writing gigs, he told potential editors that he had been published in several different sources that he had not, thus scoring said gigs.  This is the sort of lying I like - chutzpah lying.  But even if technology didn't nowadays prohibit the telling of such porkie pies, I just don't think I'd have the guts.  But I kinda like that he did.

Even better, I like the fact that after he scored that first publishing gig, he set about putting his conscience to rights by proceeding to go about trying to be published in all of those sources.  This ensured, he said, that "I hadn't actually lied;  I'd just been chronologically challenged."


  1. So you don't believe I'm the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama then, Sue? Shucks, there goes that book contract. This is magnificent - the clip had me crying with laughter. Thanks:)

  2. so glad i took the time to watch this
    he shares great wisdom and laughs


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