Wednesday, January 14, 2009
If honesty is the best policy but discretion is the better part of valor, then between the two lies the grayest of gray areas, a place in which honesty isn't quite honest and discretion isn't entirely discreet.
In that demilitarized zone, you can find all the little white lies in the world, the gloss that is slopped over unspeakable situations, the smile that is pasted on at the start of a new day, and the word, "Fine" - as in "Oh, things are fine."
Those who are on one side of the void or the other think they see it all very clearly. They shove some more popcorn into their mouths, delighting at the spectacle, and say, "No, go this way!" or "Can't you see what to do, you idiot?" In reality, they have no more clue as to the right move than do the players in the void, and in the end, there is still blood spilled and it isn't their own.
That void is the site of many battles - wins and losses - that continue unceasingly. The players each have a dire problem. Maybe they've been ignoring it for a good long time, dancing around the edges of the field, hoping to avoid clashes and penalties, broken teeth and shredded knuckles. Maybe they have turned their back to the void for so long that they truly believe themselves to be standing in the green grass of Honesty or in the stand of weeping willows that shade the meadow of Discretion. And yet they are as exposed as a newborn abandoned on a doorstep. The jokers in the stands watch, waiting for the player to get up, to fight, to overcome. The player looks to them for help, eyes pleading and misted with tears.
Ultimately, the player must turn to the center of the void and fight. Honesty and Discretion be damned! Maybe tears will fall, maybe drops of blood. Perhaps the battle will rage on for too long, sapping the strength of all involved, but in the end, the players will -- they must! -- move on out of the void, with any luck. They will move into Honesty and face the path of Truth, else they will hide beneath the long tendrils of the willows in the meadow of Discretion, forever trying to hide their wounds and scars, trying to cover up once more the reason behind the battles.
Co-dependency is the quicksand that dots the ground inside the demilitarized zone. It is the deadly dance that robs one of oneself and fools one into blindness. And all this player is trying to do is to extract her foot from one of the deepest pits she's encountered so far.
Make no mistake. It is a battle. Honesty is a place I've not lived in for any length of time, and I keep falling back into the DMZ, slipping farther away from the To-Thine-Own-Self-Be-True Cove. The land of Discretion is much more familiar. Discretion is better known as Keep-Your-Mouth-Shut. I've been there off and on my whole life. People like it when you stay in Discretion, though it is a very crowded and secretive place. Lots of people go there. Honesty is not as populous, because it costs much more to live there. But oh, I hear that it the land of milk and honey, closer to God than Discretion. I'm saving my pennies in the DMZ and fighting hard to get out of the quicksand. I can't wait to have a big house on the corner in the land of Honesty. Can you?
Peace - D