Lie, Lie, Lie. It Might Open The Door.

I had a penpal when I was in sixth grade. My penpal was from the Midwest. I wrote that I had five brothers and we lived on a farm. We had horses and cows and chickens. The truth was that I had one sister and lived in an ordinary house in Great Neck, New York. It might have been farmland at one time but when I lived there it was stately suburbia.

It was wrong to lie. If you, my dear penpal are reading this, please accept my apology. I’m sorry I don’t remember your name. Yet the experience taught me that the world of my imagination was far more creative and interesting than the standard version of reality.

On her blog today, Betsy Lerner writes about reading between the lines to find the lies. Or the make-believe. The pretend. And then the truth behind that. Is fiction a masked confession? And is confession sometimes fiction? (As in the famous case of James Frey‘s A Million Little Pieces.)

I lied as a child because my life seemed boring. And I often lied rather than face people’s wrath. But lying served its purpose because it opened the door to a new way of seeing, and that, in turn, opened the door to a new way of being. I realized along the way that I didn’t have to follow the script that had been given to me. I could choose a new way to be. In a way, you could say that lying bought me freedom.

Now I choose to be honest. Are there exceptions to the rule? Are there times when you find you still need to lie? And what have you learned? Is the truth over-rated?

Sometimes a lie can open the door to a new way of being.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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2 Responses to Lie, Lie, Lie. It Might Open The Door.

  1. nancy lawless says:

    Hi Diana,

    I love your Blog! It is so well written… and has a wealth of common sense mixed together with wisdom. Thank you for the inspiration you give me.

    Nancy Beckett-Lawless

    • dianabletter says:

      Hello Nancy,
      I appreciate your comment. I’ve learned so much from your insights and wisdom, too, so thank you!

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