Sometimes a quote stays with you. This one is from the 1956 film, Anastasia, starring Ingrid Bergman:
“Truth serves only a world who lives by it.”
In their later years, when things were so difficult with my aging parents, I was taking a creative writing class. The instructor, a wise woman, witnessed my turmoil. One day at the end of class, she took me aside. She knew some of the challenges I was facing with my parents and family. She challenged me to write a type of sonnet called a Sestina. I didn’t know what a Sestina was. I asked her for a timeline. She said I should write it that evening. I went home, studied the form and this poem virtually flowed out of me. It was the perfect vehicle for what was happening in my life. As art, poetry and writing can do, it shifted the energy for me.
© by Christine O’Brien
Truth lies in a shallow grave
while perspectives hang out everywhere.
Semantics argue with the unwary
as he admonishes “feelings aren’t facts.”
She remonstrates that mine is not the only opinion!
I inquire “How does one unearth truth?”
A sly animal is truth;
in its lair as silent as the grave.
Taunted by every brand of opinion,
each certain that his truth binds everyone, everywhere.
Scientists are burdened with facts.
Buying facts carte blanche is for the unwary.
My mother has been unwary,
living my father’s lies, denying truth.
Out in the cold, the stranded facts;
a story of lies they take to the grave.
Wounded healers, their children lay everywhere.
On unalterable facts I do base this sad opinion.
Really, what is there to opinion?
What warning can I give to the unwary?
The pain from his misdeeds is everywhere;
his forked tongue can’t speak the truth.
“Oh Dad, set yourself free before the grave
takes you and the unspoken, faltering facts.”
Weakening into old age, do they matter less, the facts?
That my mother be separated from him was my opinion.
Yet, there they are growing fragile together, headlong to the grave.
His rage bursts her peaceful ending, she the constant unwary.
In this sad scenario, can one find the concealed truth?
Fragments of perspectives and hurt feelings lay everywhere.
When division and broken hearts are everywhere,
are they less important now, the historical facts?
Is forgiveness the elixir of truth?
It seems opposition only supports an opinion
as egos argue in the territory of the unwary.
Let’s bury our perspectives in a grave.
Though facts, feelings and opinions are strewn everywhere
is it only the unwary who bind them to truth?
The grave is the end for all; is it wiser to pave the path with love?