Lies Walk the Streets and Honesty Is Not Always Brutal

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handle With Care.”

This is a direct quote from my mother who doesn’t take her own advice.

Explanation of this quote  When you tell a lie the truth will catch up with you, some way, some how, sooner or later.

Explanation of Mom’s approach:  She thinks it’s OK to tell a “little white lie” if necessary to avoid hurting the recipient’s feelings but more importantly to prevent the recipient from having a bad opinion of her or her family.

Example of Mom’s approach:  Lie to her friend who has invited me to a (surprise) birthday party/open house for her friend’s Chabadnik second son-in-law who I have never met in my life.  Now I love my mom’s friend and appreciate her invitation in this instance and all the prior ones and all the recognition my family and I have received from her over the years.  So Mom lied in advance and told her I had other plans that day, which turned out to be true after the fact.

My preferred approach would have been to tell the truth in the first place, trusting that Mom’s friend knew me well enough to appreciate that I would rather spend the time with people I know and love than with somebody I’ve never met, have little in common with, and would probably never see again as we were both visiting in the area at the time.

I hardly handle anything with kid gloves.  I prefer an honest direct approach.

You can’t choose your family

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Delayed Contact.”

Another of my favorite sayings, which may also be a cliché, is:

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

I have spoken this line to my spouse many times over the nearly 25 year span of our marriage, along with the corollary I learned from my first high school friend who married at a very young age and has never gotten along very well with most of her in-laws.

“Be careful who you marry. Make sure you get along with them because you’ll be stuck with them, too.”

While I didn’t always get along with his parents and the two brothers who were living when I met him, I have always, or at least as far back as I can remember, gotten along with his sisters-in- law. His parents have passed, along with one of the two brothers, and now I think the three of us girls get along better than ever. I’m sure there’s a deep psychological and/or emotional reason for this otherwise unexplainable fact. If anyone has any possible explanations, I’d love to hear them!

Commit to a Writing Practice Part A – 3 important songs?

I have no idea how the description and title of this prompt is even remotely related to writing about the three most important songs in my life and what they mean to me. So I am going to split this into a two part post with relevant tags on each.

The prompt told me to try free writing and gave a bunch of advice intended to let all my fabulous ideas and wonderful words just flow on to the page. Unfortunately, my self-evident truths will not allow me to accept any of this advice because it all runs counter to who I am and how I write. Here’s each point of advice and how I feel about it.

• Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you’ve just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.) No, that’s trying to make sure that what I’ve said might make some sense to the reader.
• Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.) If I don’t edit as I write, the post will get too long and convoluted. I wouldn’t want to read a post that was too complicated or too boring.
• Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.) I draft in Word which does this all for me.
• Lose control. I have, but more around the number of posts I want to write, not what goes in each post.
• Don’t think. Don’t get logical. I’m a German Taurus so I have to do both under the laws of the universe.
• Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.) Gotcha! I’m good with this one. Anonymity helps.

The prompt goes on to say “Just let go” and ends with this quote from Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator

“Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.”

Borges’ first published book included a series of non-fictional essays and short stories, using fictional techniques to tell essentially true stories. Borges also wrote poetry, essays, screenplays, literary criticism, and edited numerous anthologies. His poems embrace the same wide range of interests as his fiction, along with issues that emerge in his critical works and translations, and from more personal musings.

My self-evident truth about the relation of Borges’ advice to my writing is that, since it’s more appropriate for fiction writers and I write non-fiction, it’s not related at all! The philosophical term “Borgesian conundrum” is named after him and has been defined as the ontological question of “whether the writer writes the story, or it writes him.” I can get behind that thought in some of the non-fiction stories I write. Thanks, JLB.