We were so comfortable in the knowledge that the universe was imploding. We always knew things would end up to nothing much, just a shrivelled up bit of a rotten core, a tangled mess of imploded food processors and phone chargers. Now, this fact has been un-facted by the latest discovery. Professor Schmidt, our proud Nobel Prize winner reckons we are expanding with increasing speed and the Universe will finally end up a dark, empty and cold place. We are all forever expanding, getting bigger. Blind Freddy could tell you that. Just walk around shopping malls and look at the food-court. Our Nobel Prize winning cosmologist has proven scientifically that instead of magnetic fields or gravity pulling things inwards and slowing things down, the reverse is happening and it is all getting further and further apart.
We were also happy with Einstein’s fact of his speed of light. It was the ultimate of speed, an ultimate fact. Nothing could go faster. If something were travelling faster than ‘c’ (speed of light) relative to a standing reference, we would go back in time, meaning an effect would be observed before a cause. That would be silly. It would mean I would end up with the horror of the 1956 Nissan Hut in Scheyville all over again. It would be paradoxical like an antitelephone. Still, the speed of light was fact. Irrefutable and only flat-earthers would deny the truth of this.
But….No wrong, in Italy, the country that gave the world Galileo, they made something go faster than light, deep inside some mountain range. Another fact dismantled. I think being disappointed in facts is so much worse than in truths.
So, is the truth a worthier cause to follow than facts? The truth is how things are now, not tomorrow or yesterday but now. For instance; it is raining outside and the road is getting wet. This is a truth for now. However, and this is important, if the rain stops and the sun start to appear, chances are the road will dry up. Another truth, but the outcome is the total opposite of the previous one. Isn’t? Still, both hold true and that has to be nice and reassuringly optimistic for the future.
Facts seem to be unreliable and somewhat sticky, changing all the time, just like truths but unlike truths, facts were always supposed to be unmoving, cemented in situ. I wouldn’t trust them anymore. A truth, on the other hand is always there, even though for just that moment. It is so much more comforting, a bit like bed socks. They warm your feet but only if you wear them. If you keep them in the sock drawer, they are still bed socks but their truth of ‘warming feet’ has gone. One expects and (most of us would) accept those changes as normal. No one would object to the truth of bed socks not warming feet if they are not on the feet.
There are truths so true, they are universal truths. The truth of the lentil for instance and its application towards frugality and living simple humble lives is such a universal truth that it warms the heart. Its truthfulness stands on its own and it would be a brave man who would say that a lentil is not true because it is really an apple or a bicycle.
The same for a good drop of Semillon Blanc. The truth of the capsicum lingering on or the lemon tang hanging near the middle palate together with its ambition or its sheer cheekiness, are truths that are unassailable. But again, again this awful but …If letting stand too long in the hot sun or in its glass without drinking, the wine then become less truthful, even dishonestly intemperate. Then the truth (of a beautiful wine) has become spoiled and awful and warped. I would say that this truth then changes in another truth, the truth of spoiled wine. A bitter truth to swallow, but a truth just the same. In truths you can hardly ever go wrong. It just changes all the time and travels with you as you go along.
Truths are deeply personal and always your best friends.