The Shadow of Truth


When did my truth become my shadow?

When it became a shroud I laid on others like a blanket – “I know who you really are.”
When I could no longer see the person beneath that which I already “know” about them.

Religion colors truth. “God sends people like that to hell.”
Politics colors truth. “They shouldn’t have come to our country.”
Betrayal colors truth. “You have shown your true colors – be forever painted with them.”

I, myself, am an imperfect canvas, splashed with the colors of my day.
I, myself, am no doubt made an object by those whose knowledge of me consists solely of one moment.
One page in my story. One encounter.
One immovable experience or attribute, lodged in their minds and memory.

I believe I am incapable of committing atrocity. I believe this, and am sure it is true.
In the meantime, all atrocity has ever needed, is an unwillingness to be flexible.
Certainty, about who “the other” is.
Certainty, that my perspective is true.

The reduction of a human story to a single page, read once; perhaps never understood.
The reduction of a person to an object.
All begins first with the reduction of myself to an immovable object – “a perfect statue” – casting the shadow that I insist is “truth.”
Forgetting that I, too, am but a changing canvas.

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