neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it

How can one person be more real than any other?  Well, some people do hide and others seek.  Maybe those who are in hiding – escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan-pipe hootchy-kootch of experience – maybe those people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, or if they’re rednecks won’t talk to intellectuals, people who’re afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitch-hike, jaywalk, honkey-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jackleg humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar’s Hell.  Some folks hide, and some folks seek, and seeking, when it’s mindless, neurotic, desperate or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding.  But there are folks who want to know and aren’t afraid to look and won’t turn tail should they find it – and if they never do, they’ll have a good time anyway, because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of earth’s sweet gas.

– Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker

Thank you to my friend Connie who first introduced me to this quote in a book she gave me for my birthday in 1994!

3 thoughts on “neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it”

  1. I love this book and weirdly just picked it up again after many many years. It has one of my fave passages- the one about making love stay. Awesome read on a Friday. xoxo

  2. I hope all is well. I am writing because I am doing a project in school where we are designing a device that will be used by children to alert a trusted adult when they are in an unsafe situation or feel they are being bullied. We are not actually manufacturing the product but need to do all the research as if we were. My team has created a survey we need to have responses to by parents. If you would be willing to take a few minutes and take the survey it would be incredibly helpful to me and my team! Also if you would be able/willing to send out to other parents it would be much appreciated! Here is the link Any help would be awesome

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