Based On A True Story

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Sometimes, as a poet, I like to personify an idea, like Truth or Love or Freedom, and then write about the idea as if it is a living presence. This is a great way to get at my relationship with the idea and to give myself permission to perceive or change that relationship by changing the story I attach to it. That is the essential idea of this poem, which invites the question:

What is your relationship to Truth? How would you personify or characterize Truth? Would it help if you changed the storyline?

If you feel like you are strapped to a chair 
under a glaring light getting the third degree, 
maybe it is because you believe Truth is harsh. 

The idea only holds up in a windowless room. 
The dazed bird, hurt, confused, unable to fly, 
still feels trapped in the cupped hands
of a nursemaid. 

It's hard to read the world when danger 
races the heart and suspicion fills the eyes.

Why not believe Truth is a wealthy lover? 
You could feel as if you are lounging 
in a hammock under a canopy while sipping 
a tequila sunrise on the shores of paradise 
sharing intimate secrets about your life. 

Or a benefactor that supports your 
deeper purpose and has your back 
while you speak with charming vulnerability. 

Or the sherpa that can guide you safely 
on the ascent to the peak as you reveal 
the failures that have given you the strength 
to take on the challenge. 

The only difference is the storyline. 
Yours may start with “Once upon a time…” 
but it is based on actual events, told 
with poetic license, and any resemblance 
to fictional characters in the inner world 
of the author is entirely intended. 

© Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved

What does it mean to you
to “speak your truth?”

Please share your thoughts
and feeling below.

The phrase to “speak your truth,” as it is often used, seems to mean saying something that challenges the status quo in some way. It is usually attached to statements that are either harsh, controversial, politically inappropriate, or socially risqué. The phrasing that it is “your” truth gives license to the speaker to say whatever s/he wants to regardless of the impact it may have on listeners. And it appears that the goal is, at least some of the time, to shock or disrupt others. This goal is certainly worthy at times, but when it becomes commonplace in everyday conversation, the disruption backfires, becomes divisive because it leaves a trail of confusion and makes genuine dialogue more difficult.