The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves

hawaii 2011 011

Thanksgiving approaches
And I keep reading, thinking rushing around.

Ron Carlson’s stories are full of people lying to themselves and others. It’s something a lot of us do. Why not stick to the truth? Wouldn’t it be a lot easier? Actually maybe not.

Let’s start with the obvious. You look good in that dress. Most of us will say this at times and not really mean it. The dress I wore for this year’s anniversary and last year’s anniversary were both frankly heinous. One was bought at Ross by my dear friends. I was too lazy to shop for myself so they shopped for me which was darling! But picking clothes for someone else can’t be easy. Especially if that someone looks awkward in everything. In the pics, you can see I like something the cat dragged in. Last year’s dress was far worse and I bought that myself. I looked like an overgrown water buffalo in a purple dress and that isn’t something you see every day. I’m just being honest here. You’d think that I’d just cut to the chase and wear a suit which might slim me down especially if the suit was black. That would be a plus. However, I always imagine that the right dress will transform me into Cinderella. Even though this has failed to happen one decade after another, I’m like an Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” well, not sure where my hope perches, maybe in a hole in my head? At any rate, I live in hope.

I try not to lie to myself even though I have good friends to lie to me and I love them for it. I told my friend Andrea that my doctor thinks I should lose weight, she told me that my doctor can suck it. God, I love Andrea! My friend Nicelle tells me that I look astonishing. I’m sure I astonish somebody.

I like to honest with myself that certain things are just not my talents. Those include: Providing discipline to sons, lying to people to make them feel better, buying clothes, looking good in clothes, sprinting, driving, anything to do with technology, drawing, singing, (I’m amazing in the shower though,) fixing anything on the computer, logic in general, high levels of math.

Lying to oneself is the first kind of lying that we all do. I suppose that I do like to myself about some things. I like to think that I’m pretty good at flower arranging but that’s probably not true. I also like to think that I’m tactful and have a filter on what comes out of my mouth, but that may be a dirty lie as well. Or what comes out of my fingers as I type away on email, blog or FB.

In Ron Carlson’s stories people lie to themselves and to others. A man goes to the track every day and gets up at 2 in the afternoon. His wife tells him that one day she will leave him. He doesn’t believe it. He comes home one day to find her gone as is her car and half of her clothing. “The place smells funny, hairy,” he says. “It’s a fact and I know it is a fact, Bigfoot has been in my house. Bigfoot stole my wife. Believe it. I gotta believe it.” The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

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Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Title is certainly true. There’s some interesting points on lies to the self here:

    http://www.gurdjieff.org/salzmann3.htm

  2. Kate, you are a beautiful woman with high cheek bones, a healthy strong body, and an amazing mind. I admire you in many ways, and all of this is true – no lies! Why are we so hard on ourselves! I admit that I am too. I went to the wedding of a young thin couple last weekend and saw beautiful young women and older ones too. They were shapely and looked sharp in short dresses with bare arms and legs and high, high heals. I can’t pull off any of this at my age and it was delightful to see them, but depressing to realize that I would look like a beached whale if I tried to dress that way. My lies to myself about my body were in my face that day and there was no way to escape them. So, I turn to my poetry, friends and now my new Sumi-E painting and those are what define me, along with a loving son and the ways that I serve others with teaching and hosting poetry events. It is a mistake to get caught up in how we look physically because at a certain point in our lives we are setting ourselves up for constant self-criticism – a non-productive and destructive activity for our creative minds…that is unless you can write a good poem about it and make it sassy and sizzling.

  3. Another thought: Yesterday while having coffee with a poet friend he brought up an interesting legal case that had to do with his ugly children. I think he said that it is taking place in China. The man has brought his wife to court over the fact that their children are ugly and he considers it a lie that she had lots of plastic surgery done prior to him meeting and marrying him. He is totally unhappy with the ugly children that look like she did before the surgery. Would you consider this a lie or sin of omission? I think so.

  4. Whoops! I meant to say the Chinese’s man’s ugly children, not the poet’s. Sorry!


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