We started to notice that Ian was twisting the truth in his re-telling of things. It wasn’t that he lied, exactly, but rather that the way he talked about an event gave an interpretation of that event which was not really the full truth, the truth of which we knew since we had also been there. Gradually we learned to take whatever he said with a grain of salt… or rather, with a sack of it! As time went on, being in a relationship with Ian was like watching a rowboat that had untied the rope that secured it to the pier; gradually, he drifted further away from us, further away from the reality in which the rest of us lived. And finally, the day came when he convinced himself that it was all right to break into a house. He thought that they had all gone out but one of them had been taking a nap, heard his rummaging around, looked out onto the landing, saw him stealing, and wrestled with him; before Ian knew how it happened she had fallen down the stairs, snapping her neck. She was dead. He stood there in disbelief: He’d only meant to take a few items to pawn, but now he had killed someone… how had this happened?!
Where we end up is the result of how we took the journey to get there. In the beginning, when we re-tell an event we “embellish”; re-telling the embellished story often enough we come to think that that is exactly how it had happened. When we “liberate” an item from a store we tell ourselves that it’s no big deal because the item only costs 99 cents anyway; after awhile the cost of the liberated items become completely irrelevant since what is more important is that we do what we want to do. When our transgressions eventually impact the lives of others we are somewhat befuddled as to what the big deal is; after all, no one got hurt, right? Until someone finally does.
Playing fast and loose with the truth of reality will, eventually… and in one way or another… get us into trouble. When we no longer use truth as the standard against which we measure ourselves we are left with only ourselves as our own standard, and in that case if we want to do something then it must be okay since we want to do it! All of this, of course, doesn’t even take into consideration that we were created by the Divine to become like the Divine; the problem is that when we use ourselves as our own standard then what and how we can become is confined by the narrowness of our understanding of ourselves.
Ian often wonders why his not intending to kill her seems to make no difference to others; they counter with the fact that he has taken her away from them. What Ian hears is 1+1 makes 11: it makes no sense to him! Now that I am 66 I have lived long enough to hear friends that I know, as they approach the end of their earthly life, actually wail, “How did I end up this way?!” It breaks my heart to hear their pain, but it would be better while still in the train station for us to ask ourselves, “Where will this ticket take me?”