The Pursuit of Truth
I looked at an old essay this morning. It is just not hanging together. There's no bigger why. It's more anecdote than essay. No wonder it got rejected so many times. I'd like to abandon it but I've found the perfect market. Now if only I could whip it into better shape.
It's like Emily Carr and her mountain. She paints it over and over again, but its essence always eludes her. Will this market exist in six months, a year, two years from now? Likely. Will I be able to rework and submit the essay then? Most definitely. But there's a discomfort in leaving things unfinished. A nagging urgency, like a UTI.
What is the solution to work that itches and exhausts me? Do I abandon the struggle or plow forward, hoping for a breakthrough? Does Carr ever capture her mountain? (I haven't read that far ahead.)
"When you investigate anything, I don't care what it is--whether it's a Fenton photograph or Abu Ghraib ... yes, complications result. Thinking causes complications, I'm sorry! But it's part of that process that e go through of trying to figure out what's out there in the world. What really happened. This is about truth. Absolute truth. And the pursuit of truth, properly considered, shouldn't stop short of insanity."
I want that quote tattooed on my arm. I want it chiseled onto my tombstone: The pursuit of truth, properly considered, shouldn't stop short of insanity.
219/365. Painting by Emily Carr and used under a Creative Commons license.