April 24th 2006

copyright don oddy

~ truth and fantasy ~

In my fellowship we prize amongst many things our truth and honesty. We get good at seeing our own development of truth and honesty. We need honesty to make our world safe for ourselves primarily so we can play our part in keeping the world as safe as we can for those around us.

This primary and fundamental need, to be honest and truthful is the equal of any person who might put effort into its pursuit. Yet for most our lives we assume our truth and honesty are givens and we express and formulate our response to the world based on the honest truthÖ

So we might assume! And anyone knows the more we assume that we all work on the premise of truth and honesty, there lies the road to breakdowns and disappointments in life. For in truth we humans spend little time working out what the truth is unless we really have to and its only when things are going awry that we put any effort into finding truth, honestly!

I was taught I donít know when and by who, I guess my parents that truth was our best defence against everything. And yet my childhood felt difficult a lot of the time and very uncomfortable. I probably mean as a kid things were never that comfortable and this was how it was. I recollect my mother being worried a lot of the time and my father absent a lot of the time. And when he was there he seemed, well its hard to remember now, but it was never easy knowing him I guess.

And still even with uncertainty or because of it, the truth was always something I accepted from an early age as coming from my parents and those who were my guides, my teachers and anyone adult enough to exercise authority. I reckon I trusted them and they told me who and what to trust as I went along.

Truth came from them, and I think because all my role models suggested that most people told the truth and engaged in honesty, then I could accept what they said and told me to do was gospel and I got on with their honesty and their truth.

At the same time, imagination and fantasy are as big in a kid as the reality we enjoy and endure. And fantasy did play its part, as a kid I got read to ands watched a little TV and lived in my head and had great imagination.

So fantasy was important and my imagination was fired by what stories I was told what I heard eavesdropping as we do as kids and gleaning all sorts of truth, honesty, fantasy and imagination.

I also got my dose of religion too. And I know my mother a believer to an extent was happy and my father who was agnostic at best and antagonistic to religion most of the time, well there were conflicts in my understanding and comprehension.

Fantasy and imagination seemed fine and part of the land of dreams and sleep and stories and kept me happy some of the time. Compared to reality, well reality always felt cold and miserable to an extent. I donít think I was a secure kid, certainly a sensitive one and one who could feel pain long before it would arrive.

So sensitised to the potential of truth and fantasy and quite sure in my recollections about them being quite different, there was no blur from what might be real and to be experience and that of fantasy and to be imagined.

Clearly, real and experience which were truths could be risky and dangerous, whereas fantasy was imagination and something beyond which offered all manner of daydreams and satisfaction inside my head.

These two states of being, each fed the other and seemed to be needed and important, and I guess they were enjoyable states. I suspect now, the fantasy and imagination had superior attractions for me as the harshness of truth and reality could be a real difficult place to live. I felt the fear and the awkwardness of growing like any other and yet found the lingering suspicions in my early days were quite right, my life as a kid was pretty harsh and not secure at all. And I donít have blame in my mind when \I say my parents did their best, and still I felt insecure and vulnerable and never really at ease or at home. It was difficult to deal with reality I know. And because no one else was letting on, I felt my worries were unfounded and unusual and whenever I felt like confiding I could not. My mother recollects I was a seemingly happy child. And I guess looking back I probably seemed ok, for when I felt insecure back then, I had no idea who to turn to and never felt able to open up. My silence could have easily been taken for happiness, and my stoicism for contentment.

I was far from content, but never a complainer. I was never at ease for long and home and school were difficult places for me. I did feel different experienced great anxieties. My reticent silence covered my vulnerable self and to the outside world a relatively happy boy was seen. And the world seemed busy whilst I worried away and felt great feelings and no one to share them with. And this truth has haunted me all my life. I have felt those moments of elation so high, joy was fairly bursting inside and the lows so deep, death felt optional and preferred to continuing on. My truth and not shared with many who encountered me. And a lot of bravado developed and a lot of ego covered a damaged should somewhere inside. And so my truth, lost for decades in turmoil and pain. Still alive today, it surely is beyond my wildest dreams, for death seemed sanctuary many a time.

And somehow with imagination and fantasy ever present, and a blurring of truth made good, I have survived thus far. Not easily reconciled with what people may know about me. The confident, the brash, the larger than life character that once prowled around, restless and attentive ever seeking, that was me.

A Quester, a visionary, a practical man, turning my hand to labour and intellect and imagination whenever and wherever. Forever uncertain and full of certainty, I learned myself and read people from an early age. And with every fear and imagination as my guide to the potential of our human condition it is no wonder I have spent much my life helping others make sense of life when its become nonsense.

And imbued with truth and fantasy, and able to share it well, I helped many a person find out what made them tick or not. And as my journey took its own lead, without me looking too hard, I developed great capacity to experience all manner of times to extremes and sometimes finding a middle ground. Yet in that fear and vulnerable state where nothing fills that gap inside, the comfort and sure knowledge that I always craved, was acceptance of me. Never ever for year after year did I ever get comfortable being myself, for I had no real identity which gave me pleasure to be.

I know where my discomfort came, it was early in life and was always influenced by my father and his sway on me. My Dad, my hero and in my mind still so, for every good and bad quality. My Dad he was a wanderer and never had safe and solid ground. From adoption to life and all his experience he trusted no one, no even himself.

And though he is long gone, my father lingers on in me and my truth and my fantasy. He still remains a hero in my eyes, and I cherish his memory. At the same time, for many many years I could not stand to be with him, he made me worry, he made me rage, not only at him but this world.

In truth a hero in his time, and also in my fantasy. Or others would view him differently I know, some good and some bad, particular to times and events long ago, his legacy lingers on in me. He read people well and understood life, he saw great inequality, and strove insanely to make life good and saw the price he paid. And his choice for many a year to seek oblivion and shut this world out, and try his best to conform, what he never learned to make life good enough, he too had less than he deserved. Never at peace with himself, restless and never quite secure where he was. His fear and vulnerability got the best of him most his life.

And in truth I knew this a long time ago, and never sought to understand his plight, for it meant a deeper look into me. And yet I sorted many things out for others find their path. My path so hard to find, its secret to be revealed, too hard for almost a lifetime to meander along, in case I lost my way.

And to this time of reckoning, where truth is out and fantasy revealed, a time so precious for me now, I value time to see. To see where I may go and understand the journey is the key, the destination matters not, as I learn acceptance, I find the real me.

My friendly tools of life, my truth and honesty, would be incomplete without their intimate mates, thatís my imagination and my fantasy...