There is nothing more depressing than writing a post about Trump, so I won’t. Having said that, reading the papers and watching the news reminds me of the first time I remember being told a lie.
I was four years old, and it was Christmas Eve. My parents, sister, cousins and I were staying for Christmas with our grandparents. There was a crackling log fire, a Christmas tree glittering with gold in the candlelight, and singing of carols. When suddenly all went quiet and we heard a sleigh bell ringing outside, and then a knock on the old oak door. The door swung open and standing there, snow swirled around him, stood an enormous jolly man, dressed all in red, with a white beard, with a coat edged in white fur.
‘Oh look, hello Father Christmas.’ Our parents cried out in unison. It remains a magical memory and many years later I played less dramatically the same trick on our four-year-old daughter, chomping the carrot, scoffing the mince pie and drinking the whisky as she slept on the sofa, having stayed up late to see Santa Claus. I then carried her to her bed and the next morning she woke and ran through to the drawing room to see the pile of presents, a half chewed carrot, a few crumbs and an empty glass. So, telling lies is part of our culture.
That’s not to say that the truth is any easier. I have learnt over the last few years that the truth is subjective. Truth is in the beholder's eye. It is not black and white as our teachers would like us to believe, but is a mid-tone grey. The truth for one man will be different to another. The truth is just what we believe to be true.
Some truths are hard to understand, discover, explain and verify. Other truths can be distorted, hidden, twisted and abused. That’s when truths become lies.
Our job as storytellers is to hold on to what we believe. I often think about what stories to write, but I have not thought about it from this angle. That the best stories to write are those that reflect what we hold to be true. Maybe I have found a focus for my writing?
Instead of looking for interesting stories, I should look for interesting truths.