Honesty: Good or Bad?
“DISARM!” declares the pink post-it in the back of my journal. It’s been there for a few weeks now, and I can’t seem to throw it away. The note dates from a getaway spent with friends at a borrowed beach cottage. We thought we might be expected to set the alarm at night, and I thought I might be the first one to open the door in the morning. So I put post-its on the door, the coffeepot, and my journal. But then we didn’t set the alarm. We opted instead for open windows and fresh marine air. The word, however, stayed with me. Because I am badly in need of dis-arming. This summer, I have set all kinds of alarms against, well, feeling. Because there’s just too damn much to feel. And for me, along with feeling goes writing anywhere except in my journal. Because when I sit down to write with intent to share, as I am right now, I come up against that timeworn question that is the title of this post. Honesty: good or bad? I’m not talking here about truth versus lies. I’m talking about being honest about how you feel. About expressing your real feelings versus repressing them. Honesty is good, when I write about how sweet it has felt this summer to be at the beach or in the mountains or forests with family or with friends. Is honesty bad when I write about how worried I am about every place I love, as temperatures spike and wildfires rage [...]