Friday, January 21, 2011

About Truth

Yesterday I answered questions put to me by an astute interviewer. Before writing this week’s blog post, I went to my computer to look at what topics I had written about in the past. Repeating oneself becomes even more of a danger as we grow older.

I read over some of my old posts and saw that some of the questions that I answered during yesterday’s interview, I had regarded differently as little as a year ago. I aspired to honesty in all instances but the responses were not consistent. Since not much time has passed I can’t attribute the changes to newly acquired wisdom; I have to think that they are about the moment and the mood. And sometimes whether or not I have had a glass of wine to loosen my thought processes. (En vino veritas.) I’d rather not consider myself flakey since I often speak of issues or subjects I hold dear and give serious thought to. No, it’s more like looking from a different angle. Maybe even stepping into other shoes at times. In conversation, it is often the first thing that my brain lights on.

A question posed to me yesterday was “What is art?”. It takes some arrogance to answer that one and I have done it publicly now twice. (Not counting the intemperate comments made in party situations which I hope nobody remembers.) My carefully worded response would be that art is what connects us to our humanity. Yesterday I said it was a response to a human need. I suppose that truth can take many forms depending on who is expressing it, and where and when he/she is at in history and geography. Truths can be in conflict with each other and still they are truths — at least for the speakers. I have at times convinced myself of something that was in accordance with my perception of the world and of how everything works (or should). That kind of self-deception usually leads to a sorrowful enlightenment when reality sets in. 

When responding to an interviewer, I will say whatever comes to mind that seems right at the moment. If I am writing, I will contemplate and go back to the issue in question and fine tune the wording and the thinking. Which is closer to true? Damned if I know. What is true is that it matters. Honesty matters but truth is an abstraction. 

Frank Lloyd Wright said: The truth is more important than the facts”.

The image above is Nocturne, ©1997, Acrylic on Paper mounted on Canvas, 23" x 70". It is a particular favorite of mine.

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