i lost MY truth

Bright Sun against dark starry sky in Solar System, elements of this image furnished by NASA

i lost MY truth


Solar flare.

Coronal mass ejection.

Earth awash

electromagnetic deluge.

And just like that,

my history is gone,

my truth is gone.

Everything I believed,

all that gave me comfort

in an uncomfortable world,


and disappeared.

Digital memory,

digital belonging,


Screens blank,

Mind blank.


I think a lot about the current state of the world–especially here in the United States. I think about the shouts of “fake news” and “alternative facts” and sigh over how divisive we’ve become–how insular our opinions have become.

The internet has connected the people of the world in some marvelous ways. I chat about writing with people from Illinois to India and from Scotland to Germany. But I can’t help but note how it’s also allowed people to isolate themselves–to isolate their opinions.

Differences of opinion, people who look or act or believe different things can be discomforting to some–to many. The panacea seems to be seek comfort in the reinforcement of our own beliefs–finding a niche that supports our point of view or lifestyle and increasingly existing only within that space. Excluding the other. The internet has certainly made this easier for people–to find websites, institutions, podcasts, groups or individuals that support a narrow but reassuring worldview.

I’m usually not one for looking backwards–for pining for a “simpler time”–but the other day I was trying to imagine (as fiction writers often do) how (or if) humanity could ever get to a place where facts were facts and a level of respect was given experts in a field–where the divisiveness of insular surety disappeared. In the course of that thinking, I started jotting down the phrases that became the above poem–a lament for the loss of a truth held in the comfort of someone’s digital world.

I don’t think truth (or fact) is to be found in isolation or comfort. Truth-seeking is a messy, uncomfortable business. My tact up to this point has been to encourage people to reach out and listen–to seek out opinions from media sources, individuals or groups that may make them uneasy. I especially encourage getting to know individuals and the nuances of their beliefs–which rarely fit into neat, stereotypical categories.

But, I see that plea being ignored or drowned out by those who are a part of the Great American Shout-down. So, maybe the world needs a more radical approach–or an act of nature–to elicit the needed change–the needed opening of minds. That’s what prompted this poem–i lost MY truth.

~ by kipwkoelsch on July 27, 2020.

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