Tuesday, June 27, 2017

memory (and reality) not all it's cracked up to be

Yesterday I mentioned the Anglican priest,"Sydney" and made a point about my uncle being "Sidney" with an 'i'. I also called the name of the TV series about "Sydney" Grandchester.

Well, it's "Grantchester" I realized and on page 222 of the book I noticed "Sidney" and thought--like any good English major--"aha, a typo!" But when I paged back I realized it was always spelled with an 'i' and not a 'y'!!!

I swear to you that until page 222, I saw "Sydney" everything I looked at "Sidney".

I could just claim that I was using 'alternative facts', but the truth is I actually saw the 'd' in Grantchester and the 'y' in Sidney.

Reality isn't all it's cracked up to be. Like the story of the blind men describing an elephant and the different stories of eye-witnesses to the same accident, our senses can't be trusted absolutely.

I once asked a friend who is 'color blind' to describe the colors he does see. He looked at me like I had two heads. "That's why it's called 'color blind," he said, "I can't tell  you what what I see would be called by you."

That may apply to all sorts of things. I know Bern and I have very different memories of the same events and people often quote my sermon to me in words I never spoke.

Objective Reality seems to be 'subjective' instead. That's certainly true when I listen to Trump detractors and Trump supporters tell what they truly believe to be 'the truth' about the President.

Maybe Kelly Ann Conway's 'alternative facts' isn't so crazy as it sounds.

We in America these days seem to have difficulty discerning 'facts' from their alternative versions.

Sometimes you can see things that aren't there for 222 pages: like the  first 'y' in Sidney. Pretty unnerving, I'd say.

Something to ponder long and hard because it really, really matters, this stuff about 'truth' and 'facts' and 'objective reality'. Really.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.