The Grind

Say something true.

Now say something else true.

Keep doing it. An hour or a day, or whatever pace you feel comfortable with; any pace will eventually take you to the same place. Don’t repeat yourself. Say something new, say something true, every day, every week, every month.

It gets harder, the opposite of practice. The easy truths dry up quickly, though occasionally you find one you missed, a rare delight. Soon, though, it becomes a full time job, simply thinking of what to say next, something true, something new. And you’re constantly afraid you’ll run out. And you’re constantly afraid that tomorrow you’ll just sit there all day long and wrack your brain and nothing will come out, that there’s nothing left, nothing to say. You’ve said it all.

The world keeps moving, though. There’s always new truth being made, old truth invalidated. What was true yesterday is not true today. Some things are true when told one way but a lie when told another. Do you contradict yourself? You can’t not. Words have their limits, and where they divide the world there are crumbs left over.

You can never say it all, but it feels like you already have. It’s impossible and humdrum at the same time. Maybe there are only a few truths within reach at any moment, and trying to catch them is like fishing. Maybe there really is such a thing as divine inspiration, bolts from heaven that strike us right in the brain to give us the right idea at the right time, and all we can do is wait in place and try to make ourselves look like lightning rods.

What can I say, past that it’s difficult except when it isn’t? All you can do is wait until you think of something. All you can do is keep talking until you stumble upon something, even if you have to sift through mountains of lie and cliche. But someone, maybe, is waiting to hear what you have to say. The world needs truth, and heretofore you’ve taken pride in finding it, prospecting it, providing stepping stones for other people. Who knows why? You just do.

But sometimes it’s hard – to say something true.

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2 comments
  1. Thank you for such a profound and thought provoking post.

  2. Thomas Kawase said:

    I appreciate this idea.

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