Updated: Mar 16, 2022
It's claimed that in war, truth is the first casualty.
In a plot twist of disappointing proportions, this is a massive propagandist lie. As if the violence spontaneously combusted and only then did anyone decide to be duplicitous.
Perhaps that’s where the trouble begins: the pretence that things have been fine, well before and leading up to then. A lie is often no more than a truth we don’t want to see. Where else do we turn our minds when we don’t want to believe disappointing things?
Violence is not the collapse of truth, but the reconciling of what cannot be denied with what we wish. Our civilisation rests on vast webs constructed of intellectual might and incredible achievements. We deny the natural world an awful lot. Start believing we’re as clever as we think, though, get too far ahead in our games, outsmart ourselves away from alignment with reality, and these structures cave, the costs come due.
Already news of Ukraine is disappearing from our newsfeeds. It’s understandable. We don’t want to look. We don’t want to know, really. No more than we want to think of the bodies, the trails of them that we must follow to reach the first bullets fired and bombs dropped.
Hiding things, however, does not make them go away. There’s nothing to wax lyrical about here. The worst has not even begun. We must all hold ourselves accountable. We must be honest.
In the words of Vitali Klitschko, 'Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. That is it. Blood will mix with tears.'
May we find a way out of our foolishness.
Truth can be difficult to find. It sits in minds, hiding from itself.
My father was a slave during the second world war.
He didn’t kill anyone, until the war was over.
If he had never told me, I’d never have known.
If I’d never asked, he would never have told me,
About man as an animal
fighting like a beast for a lousy bit of blanket.
About hopelessness, about anger breeding hate
about the need for redemption.
About truths that we find, difficult to accept.
Copyright: texts Matt Jackson & Jim Piotrowski; photos Wix.
This SSOA blog showcases the original thoughts and writing of emerging writers who attend our weekly writers' meetups. We can be reached via the www.ssoa.com.au contact page.