That Scottish play 

Do you know where all that business about not whistling on the stage comes from? It turns out there was a very good reason for  it as at one point in time, most stage hands in British theatres were ex sailor and by sailors, I mean ships with sails. They would communicate with a series of whistles that they would have used for trimming sails, raising yardarms and all that nautical stuff. The upshot of all this is, that if you whistled on stage, you were likely to get a lump of scenery land on your head. The business about the Shakespear play Macbeth though… It’s supposed to be so unlucky that actors have to turn around three times and spit should they say it out loud. This has caused a whole series of little code words and phrases to appear to prevent the utterance of that one word.

Sometimes there are things we cannot talk about for one reason or another, sometimes we can’t even talk about why we can’t talk about them. Sometimes even talking about, talking about things we can’t talk about is even sticking our necks out…. Life can be exhausting sometimes. 

Reality can be exhausting too, particularly other people’s version of it. There is this constant conversation that I have with my mum where she bends the entire fabric of reality around a lie. The lie is this…. That one of my siblings is a decent human being, regardless of the constant evidence to the opposite. It is so tiring, butting against this all the time, having to reinterprets everything she says and pick out the reality from the twisted out of shape facts.

Many people exist in a world that is totally made from lies, lies they tell other people and lies they tell themselves. They cling to deceit like a rock in a storm and, beyond a point, they eventually realise that it is impossible to face the truth as the consequences of those lies has become their entire existence. They eventually pass a point of no return where they are the lies, there is nothing left of them but one lie balanced on top of another, on top of another. Just like my mum, it’s too late to change any of the consequences of her actions and so she just chooses to ignore them, rewriting the world around her. How often do you get someone turn around and say, “Do you know what? Up until this moment in my life, every choice I have made, everything I have been involved in has been a complete disaster!”? It doesn’t happen does it? Well, sometimes in twelve step programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous, but people have to hit rock bottom first. The sad truth is, most of us just limp along through life, dragging our mess behind us.

Sadly, she is not the only person to whom truth is a strange bedfellow. I saw one today, someone so skilled at tying themselves up in nonsense that reality never touches them. They are just too busy to face it, too busy to deal with it and with little effort they can keep it up til their dying breath. The truth is always there though, it lurks in the shadows and settles in the cracks of life. It hides in all the things that just never quite add up. I suppose you could call it peace of mind, and at 88 my mother still doesn’t have it and I doubt she ever will and I suspect that’s the way it goes with most of them.

I wondered what I would say to today’s self deceptor should I ever see them again, now I have my answer, and what could I say? I wouldnt have been talking to anything but a bundle of lies in human form. I said nothing. 

I mean really, how can you communicate with people so invested in hiding from the truth? You can’t, it’s pointless, they can’t afford for one crack in the facade to show for fear of the whole lot tumbling down on their heads. Just what do your say when you are responsible for so much hurt and so much damage? What can you say? It’s bad enough with my mother, I don’t need any more of that crap.

What a sad, sorry, day!

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