Objects in Motion

03/07/2019 12:42 PM | Anonymous

“A lie is not an object at rest.” 

“Bred to Be a Superstar - Learning To Be Human Again” [Todd Marinovich], Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated, 1/11/19

“The Saromsker Rebbe had lied, directly and by omission and with dreadful, unholy serpentines. Lying was an unsolicited insult to the divine order. … One uncourageous lie destroys the core of the imagination. “  “Perfection” a short story by Mark Helprin in The Pacific and Other Stories, 2004

 “Those who do not recover are …, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.”  “How It Works”, Chapter 5, page 58, Alcoholics Anonymous [Big Book]

“How do I lie to thee? Let me count the ways.”  Variation on Sonnet 43, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Deceive, distort, exaggerate, con, obfuscate, deny, mislead, distract, camouflage, dupe, pretend, prevaricate, fake, equivocate, quibble, pose, fib, invent … and on, and on…

to myself, especially and intensely to myself, and to my family, my friends, colleagues, acquaintances… people barely met … and more…

about affairs that are heartfelt and incidental, grand and trivial, on matters big and small …

by “dreadful, unholy serpentines” and stark assertions …

for any and every reason and for no reason …

Willfully and unwittingly, I was “constitutionally incapable” of reckoning with reality.  So it was last week, mired in boredom in a doctor’s waiting room, grabbing a random magazine, reading an arbitrary piece about a half-remembered, failed wannabe in a sport that holds only a fragment of interest for me, I was arrested by the revelation that according to Newton’s First Law “a lie is not an object at rest.” 

Where do my lies lead me? What contortions are required by my distortions, my licenses and liberties with facts as I know them, forces as I encounter them, compressing my life into an ever-shrinking coffer of my dwindling capacities to control the acceleration of my escalating fear? The panic that I can no longer heft the fronts that hide the horror I know myself to be – lies shielding the lie of my own existence. 

How then, how now, to consider all the harms the energy of my lies in motion inflicted upon those I would have loved, could I have loved, more or better, or at least faithfully? 

“… an object in motion stays in motion… .” There’s more, yes?  … with the same speed and direction until acted upon by an unbalanced force that upsets the equilibrium of the forces acting upon it. A Higher Power, perhaps.

My lies rose in layers like tiles for nearly forty years, from my earliest childhood to the end of my drinking. They were not quickly reconciled, and even yet are not resolved, not fully. Happily, truth is grace, a face of God that illuminates our lives and diminishes our deceptions. By grace, we can face ourselves, account for our behaviors, repent of the wreckage we strew across the landscape of our relationships. Truth too, comes in many guises and in serendipitous ways to save us.

Each day, a new beginning. We are objects in motion encountering life forces,  experiencing powerful graces, uplifted by powers greater than ourselves, pulled forward by a Love our most extravagant imaginings could never conceive. Life in Truth.

© Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church
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