Monday, April 14, 2014

#atozchallenge: Love The Way You Lie

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth's superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind. 
Do you believe that ? That truth must dazzle gradually?

2014: A Year In Stories
A twelve-volume anthology published by Pure Slush Books

Truths, especially the hard ones, can be difficult to hear. By easing "with explanation kind", by mitigating and diluting, you're being considerate. Benign. Or so you tell yourself.

Where is the line, though? Where does a "slant" truth end and a lie begin? And the lies--the slanted truths--that we tell, that we feel we must tell... What does that say about us?

Mark Hamilton is caught in a lie by his wife. He alibis for another baseball player, telling the man's wife that Mark was out to dinner with her husband the previous night when he was not. When his wife Angela catches him in this lie, he tries to justify himself by claiming that his teammate's loyalty will result in improved performance and thus income, while telling the truth would brand him as disloyal, a label that could result in struggles to find future employment. She is not impressed. As the child of an alcoholic, she detests lying in all its forms, and she wonders if the same code applies to Mark. Have his teammates lied to her as well?MICHAEL WEBB

Trudy Polaris's husband lied to her to get her to stay in the Tyrol ... and then she becomes a tax hostage. But Trudy is a big liar anyway, so who knows where the truth sits! I don't think Trudy does!SALLY-ANNE MACOMBER

Motivations for lying are many and varied. In "Compassion" Stephen lies about his writing progress because he doesn't want Anne to catch him out. By why is that? On one level, there's the knowledge that he will be letting her down again and he wants to save her from that pain. There's also the knowledge that if she catches him, she will become verbally aggressive--this is a pattern between them--and he wants to protect himself. Perhaps the most important consideration is that by being caught, he is in fact confirming Anne's opinion that he does not apply himself, that he cannot be trusted, that he is a failure and imposter at his craft. This impulse doesn't even rise to the level of consciousness, yet it is likely the fundamental driving force of his reaction in the moment. The other considerations are mere shadow play.STEPHEN V. RAMEY

What lies do you tell? To what purpose?

Thanks for visiting, and happy A-to-Z-ing!


  1. Love Emily Dickinson's lines-- have always loved them. I try mostly to tell the truth, unless the truth hurts when it doesn't need to.

    1. That Dickinson poem is one of my favorites, D. Thanks for the visit!

  2. Hi Guilie .. I must read more of Emily Dickinson when I have no other thoughts. Lying is a dreadful thing to do .. I definitely try not to .. and have learnt to say no, or I can't, and not make excuses - which are the worst ... as you've shown you get in all kinds of a mess ... cheers Hilary

  3. Beautiful lines open this thought-provoking post. I try to tell the truth most of the times but sometimes a certain situation does demand hiding the truth - fully or partially. Sometimes it could be because I am not sure if the other person will see this particular truth the way I see it, or may have his/her own view of what is the truth in that gets complicated. Sometimes it is better not to say anything when one is not sure whether to tell the truth or lie :) Interesting post.

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

  4. I have a very expressive face and so I just cannot lie. And if I have to text, the guilt kills me!
    I cannot take lies either because the truth ultimately comes out and then it hurts more. I think lying is a compulsive disorder that one should definitely stay away from.
    Liked your take on L.

  5. I have a very difficult time lying but find it very uncomfortable to tell someone a truth that I know will hurt them.

  6. that was indeed a interesting take on lies. Personally, I don't have a lying streak, mostly because I am a terrible liar. The only time I lie happily when I need a leave from work :P

  7. Lovely lines of poetry! I like to speak the truth and hear the truth in most cases. But if the truth would hurt then I definitely believe in diluting. But there is a very thin line between slanted truth and a lie, that sometimes you might end up treading on the land of lies, unintentionally.

  8. One lie just leads to another lie. Better to just avoid them.

    Precious Monsters

  9. I do try not to lie but there are sometimes I say I have something to do when I don't, to get out of doing something I don't wanna do.

  10. That's a beautiful Emily Dickinson poem. I love, love, love poetry and hers is up at the top of my list.

    As for lies - as you highlight - many a motivating factor and not all are with cruel intent. Maybe lies aren't all they're cracked up to be.

    But I guess I do my best not to hurt the ones I love with lies, though sometimes the truth hurts more.


  11. I love Emily Dickinson's lines at the start and how you structured this post! I try to be truthful but at times you have to say it mildly or with a little twist so as to not hurt others. But never lie ti yourself!


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