Reflective Introspection on a Late Summer’s Day
History is so full of it. I was reading about Messalina, third wife I think to the Emperor Claudius, and how she not only betrayed him and apparently, everything decent, but did so in a way that cast him as the villain. Reflecting on that I have to acknowledge that the vice is far from limited to the purportedly weaker half in power relations. That it is an affliction that transcends class and position, transcends wealth, one that lives comfortably almost everywhere amidst the web and tangle of human interaction.
I don’t think I’ve been duplicitous, it may be that I’ve missed that particular fault, but then, perhaps it’s difficult to perceive in one’s self. I do know that I’ve been its victim in my most intimate and important personal relationships whenever I’ve given in to the desire, the compulsion really, to trust completely, a weakness I always thought of as a strength.
I remember after each betrayal and its accompanying storm of calumny trying to remain true to a critical guiding principal: that bad people only win when they steal our faith in others. I think that perhaps, at long last, the bad people I so mistakenly trusted have finally won. It seems that Leo Durocher was right, damn him to Hell (but he’s probably happy there). Still, I hope that it’s just a personal deficiency in my personality, a lack of discernment not necessarily shared by too many others.
I don’t make these observations in bitterness, at least I don’t think so. I make them with a trace of wonder. I make them as though I were conducting research and had been presented with totally unexpected proof that an apparently fundamental truth was an illusion, perhaps, even a delusion, but a point from which the quest for truth might more effectively be continued. I’m comfortable in this analysis because, as far as I can tell, I’ve not recently been the victim of duplicity, although, duplicity seeming very friendly with ubiquity, perhaps I just don’t know. That too is very much in keeping with its elusive nature. Still, as I write, I feel a nimbus of objectivity surrounding me, a trace of epiphanies in the air that part the normal haze in which we live providing a glimpse at a seldom trod pathway towards something resembling truth.
Then I recall that although verisimilitude sounds, smells, looks, tastes and feels like truth, … it’s not. And then, perhaps in disappointment, I wonder just how worthwhile truth is.
Robert Graves sets me to thinking about very strange things when I read his novels. I think that wherever he is, he’s pleased.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2014; all rights reserved