Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Entries Past #1: "Holy Crap, Part One"

My New Year's Resolution in 2015 (i.e., going into 2016) was to tell no lies ever to anyone. I knew that I'd fail (and recorded my failures, whenever they inevitably came), but it felt and feels like a good goal.

Unsurprisingly, it's most challenging in semi-trivial social situations. Like--I hope!--most of us, I don't go around lying to my friends, or even chalking up the small misrepresentations that under this rubric do get tagged as 'lies'. But in semi-trivial social situations--not totally trivial, where you just breeze through, but with people who aren't quite friends either--I found I had the frequent impulse to lie ("absolutely! dinner soon!" ⇐ This is a lie, if you know it won't happen).

It was important, from the start, to establish a sense of the line between 'omission' and 'lie'. The best example of something at the line is answering "How are you?" It's probably obvious that it's not a 'lie' to answer that question by barfing up every single thing about 'how you are' at this moment to whatever poor person has unwittingly put themselves in the cross-hairs of your radical transparency. On the other hand, a bright 'yeah, great!' when really you're not is probably kind of a lie. What a lot of it comes down to, to me, is the intention; 'how are you?' is a pretty reflexive question -- in most day-to-day situations the person is explicitly not saying, "unburden yourself unto me." BUT, in most day-to-day situations, they probably are saying, "hey, person that i know: what is up?" So that's where the measure of what an 'honest' answer to that question comes from.

Why am I talking about this?!? Because! This is a space that I perceive to be between me and my friends. While that's literally true, it's also figuratively true: like it is for many people, the act of writing this stuff out is an act of friendship for me. NOT LIKE I THINK I'M DOING YOU SOME SERVICE!! Oh my gosh that'd be hilarious. No: but I think the space, if you will, of this blog is a friendship space defined mostly by your presence here right now as a reader, and it is a solace and relief to me that I'm grateful for.

So I feel bad that I've lied to you.

Remember the line between 'lies' and 'omission'? I was looking over my drafts of unfinished blog posts--these go back years--and my sense of it began to push from the (okay) to the former (not). The issue was the volume and scope of things I have left unsaid; things I have wanted to say but--and here is the crux HERE'S WHAT'S HARD ABOUT NOT LYING MOSTLY (unless you're a nefarious thief)--lacked the skill or time to say in a way that was worthy of reading, rather than some simpler lying way that fell back onto established scripts that shield the speaker and obscure the essential specific truth of a given instance.

Buuuuuuuuuut...also, these are posts from years ago, and a lot of them are not "good" ideas, or "good" posts. I certainly do not want to spend hours writing up bad ideas I had six years ago.

Thus, this series: "Entries Past".

In "Entries Past" I will give quick and rough treatment to each of these drafts. There will be a format, perhaps fine-tuned over time but outlined quite clearly in the first entry, below. And that's it! Will cruise through 'em! Sometimes, I will not remember what the heck I was getting at. These will be the best ones.

Title Holy Crap, Part One

BodyLast Tuesday I mistimed a dusk run out and back on Westridge, a trail in the Santa Monicas that runs about 3.5 miles (during which time you do about 500 feet in elevation). I was 25 minutes later than intended, and my dusk run became a night run in its latter half, for which I was unprepared, particularly in that I had no light. Running along the Westridge fire road - a trail wide and clear enough for a car -  is pleasant and challenging during the day, and nice enough at dusk except that apparently there are invisible rattlesnakes who want to kill you. At least this is how my predicament who was explained to me by a woman running ahead of me on the way down, by which time it was quite dark.

Date 10/16/11

Rating 11/10

Notes I totally remember this run. I hadn't lived in L.A. that long (I moved here in March of 2011, but volleyed back and forth between the coasts that summer and didn't start to settle until July (6 years ago!!!)). I remember being on the Westridge fire road as dark descended more quick and dark than expected; I remember losing first the fine then the broad contours of the trail, my pace slowing and step getting more careful in fear of twisting an ankle. And I remember this lady, who 100% got way up in bizness as I passed her, about the snakes and the lateness and how unsafe it was to run at night without a headlamp.

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