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The Truth

December 7, 2011

GBE 2: Blog On — Week #29: “TRUTH”

(Note to self: Find out what “GBE 2” means)

Truth implies honesty and honesty, so we’re told, is the best policy. Of course there are times when it’s not really the best policy to be honest. If my friend asks me how he looks in his new chartreuse shirt with the one and a half inch blue and orange buttons and purple piping on the pockets I’m not going to tell him he looks like a clown. I’ll lie and tell him I really appreciate his unique sense of style. I’ll also lie if someone asks me if her butt looks big in her new jeans. My experience is that when someone asks you about something after they’ve bought it or done it, it’s a fair assumption that they like it and so should you. Even if you don’t. Another example is someone’s cooking. No matter what they make, if they took the time to make it for you, it’s good. Even when it isn’t.

Those truths are easy. Other truths are not so easy.

One of the most difficult truths for me is actually a two-pronged truth and they both have to do with being truthful about myself. The first prong is being truthful with me and the second prong is being truthful about me. The first prong is obvious, probably everyone’s felt that to a certain extent. The second prong – this blog is a good example of the second prong, because I find it very difficult to be truthful here. It’s not that I’m lying about anything – everything I write about here is true – but what I’m writing about is surface true and not what-makes-that-guy-tick true. It’s a lot easier to (try and) be funny or comment on current events or review a book or rant about cardboard pizzas than it is to talk about why I couldn’t sleep last night or who/what haunts me or what’s in the back of my medicine cabinet. Why is that? I don’t know. Maybe I do and maybe the first prong doesn’t want to acknowledge it. I suppose it’s equal parts faith and trust and maybe something else. What I do know, or at least what think I know, is getting in touch with that truth and laying it out there is important for a writer.

At which point the Unfriendly Voice laughs and says, “You don’t identify as a writer anyway, buster, so don’t worry about it.”

Like Otis Redding sang, “I got the will, but I can’t find my way”. Maybe one day I’ll get it, but in the meantime I’ll keep on the way I’ve been going. Until that time, if I don’t put it all out there you’ll know why.

And if I ever show up wearing a chartreuse shirt with the one and a half inch blue and orange buttons and purple piping on the pockets feel free to tell me the truth!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2011 12:34 pm

    I really liked this post!

    I think the deeper a writer can dig into their truths, the better he writes. I’m sure this all takes practice. Nice work!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 8, 2011 1:06 pm

      Hi Linda, and thanks! I think you’re right, it takes practice.


  2. December 7, 2011 1:30 pm

    That digging deep and getting to the truth of who/why/what we are isn’t always a picnic. There’s some part of me that thinks I should be that when I simply am this. Eh. Ive reached the point when I’m good with the truths about me, even the less snazzy ones, so I’m okay with being pretty much all out there.

    One big benefit of being this way is that the people round me really know me, so if they’ve stuck it out, lucky me. And really, even if they hadn’t, I guess that’d be alright too because who wants to walk around sheltering parts of yourself for fear of people finding you offensive and unacceptable? Not me. I am what I am.

    Years ago–decades, really–I made a vow to myself to speak the truth, so if a friend asks if those pants make them look fat, I’ll be honest. I won’t be mean, but I will tell the truth. I might say, “I really love the way you look in those gray ones you wore when we went to the movies” or “Pleats add a few pounds to everyone.” If they were on their way out to a job interview and I knew they didn’t have anything more flattering in their closet or didn’t have time to change, I’d likely say something like, “You look like someone I’d hire!”

    If I were pushed for a perfectly straightforward answer, I’d give one. I always say that if asked a question, I’ll answer in one of two ways. I’ll respond truthfully or I’ll say that it’s none of your business (but only if that’s the truth).

    Oh, and GBE2 is a newer version of the original GBE (Group Bogging Experience) that was started on MySpace years ago by a sweetheart of a woman named Alicia. Alicia headed up the group for 90 weeks until it just got to be too much and she realized that she wasn’t having fun with it anymore. There was a pretty good gap of time between when that one ended and mine started up. One day, she and I, along with a few others, were talking about how wonderful an experience the GBE had been and how much it was missed. Next thing I knew I’d decided to start up a blogging group and with Alicia’s blessing, named it GBE2. Some of the current members have been there from the very beginning. :O)


  3. December 7, 2011 1:31 pm

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much. You have excellent content on your blog.

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  4. December 7, 2011 6:20 pm

    Well, I think you got a good handle on who you are and what you are willing to share with the world. Now, I don’t happen to suffer, if that’s the right word, from any desire to hold back and so maybe I can’t really identify with what you are battling. When I sit down to write whatever rolls through the brain keeps right on rolling out the fingertips and onto the screen.
    I write about who I am and what I feel and what I think. Is that a good thing? Maybe, but maybe I just share too much. Maybe the mystery of the man who doesn’t is much more intriguing and more valuable.


  5. December 7, 2011 10:23 pm

    If I asked Hubby is my jeans made my butt look big, he’d probably say, “No, your butt IS big.” But then he’d follow it with some kind of story about how he watched my round bottom sway as I walked across the chemistry classroom. So then I couldn’t be really mad at him because I’d never figure out if I’d just been insulted or complimented. : – )


  6. December 8, 2011 8:26 am

    Well, one can argue that you were honest in this post about not putting yourself out there in your writing thus far. Yes? It’s a step.


  7. December 9, 2011 1:01 pm

    Not to frighten you but, since I’ve been reading your blog for over a year, I think you may be surprised at how much you do let us see you. Refraining from talking about what boogie men live in your closet and under your bed is one thing – we all have things we keep in secret captivity. But you do let us in on some of what makes you tick…baseball, politics, the music you love, and occasional forays into what makes a bad food terrible (remember Kix? ’nuff said). Maybe you’ll let us discover more. Maybe you won’t. But your writing whatever you write has kept me entertained for quite awhile – which means you have been authentic and connect with your readers in some way.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      December 11, 2011 6:10 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jane. I appreciate it! And Kix, yes, I remember, and you have an amazing memory!


  8. December 10, 2011 10:40 am

    Part of the trick to writing comedy is to stretch the truth. For example, I once wrote a post about how my siblings abused me.

    “As for Bev, she reads my blog so I shouldn’t tell you how she pinched one of my boobs and told me that it would be smaller than the other one. Thanks to Bev, I have to special order all my bras. One side’s an A while the other is a Double D. Dang! Dang! Why’d she pinch me?”

    No, I don’t special order my bras with an A on one side and a DD on the other, but would it be funny to say I’m normal? It’s called “creative license,” and I say GO FOR IT!



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