Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


The Truth

At home you cry;
you think you're trapped.

I'm out here and
there's nowhere to run to.

27 June 1985

freedom-1Ignorance is bliss. So they say. Only it’s not. Not if you have an imagination. Although I suppose that’s the point. How ignorant do you need to be to be unable to imagine a world different and hopefully better than the one you currently find yourself in? Dogs dream. Rats run through mazes in their sleep. We buy lottery tickets and talk endlessly about what we’ll do with all our winnings. I’d start a publishing company in case you’re interested. That said, I’ve never bought a lottery ticket or even a scratch card in my life. You’ve got to be in it to win it. So they say.

I have a very clear memory attached to this poem. It might even be when I wrote it, crossing the road in my hometown and walking towards the Co-Op. Probably one of those poems that came out of the blue. Well, they all pretty much come out of the blue.

When I was a kid I used to dream about being free from the influence of my parents. I doubt there’s a kid out there who’s not dreamed that. And for a while I was. About five years. And then my wife left me and suddenly I was faced with another level of freedom entirely and what did I do? I ran home to mammy and daddy knowing full well what would follow. Well, I had a good idea.

Jump forward thirty years. Am I free now? Free to fail. Always been free to fail.

Freedom, you see, is not the issue. Truth is I doubt it ever was.


Kass said...

“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

While this may be true, I sure love to question my mind constantly.

Jim Murdoch said...

Of the last 628 poems (the poems written since I was seventeen) only four mention freedom. There are eighty-two that include the word ‘truth’. I’m not sure I agree with Saint Exupéry, Kass. although, like most one-liners like this, he sounds convincing. My mind is certainly not free. It, in fact, causes me no end of bother. Were it not for my mind I could so much done. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say that a healthy mind can imagine anything: what’s the point? A mind can imagine a hamburger but it won’t feed you. Reality is enough of a work of the imagination without making it any worse.

Kass said...

Wow, 82 trips into a version of 'truth'. My mind is imagining a hamburger right now and I'm being fed with a slight feeling of nausea.

On a side note, I've forgotten how to embolden someone's name in comments. Are you doing it with HTML, Jim?

Jim Murdoch said...

I’ve used the word ‘truth’ in my current novel 77 times, Kass. An example:

Truths are boring and stubborn; mostly trivial they wear one of two masks, plain or ugly (Keats was a romantic fool); they do not prevaricate; they do no equivocate; they tell it as it is. They may be docile but they’re not pliable. Lies can dress up as anything they please and it is their unpredictability, their daring, their sheer élan that keeps us coming back for more.

As far as emboldening text goes, yes, I use HTML. Blogger comments will accept basic HTML. See here.

Kass said...

Thanks, Jim. I've copied that link. It was very helpful.

I also copied this from Lis's comment section on her blog:

...from an old ‘X-Files’ comic: “…truth is a whore. She’ll belong to any man for an hour if the price is right. When the time’s done, you’re back where you started—alone.”

Ping services