Two Truths and a Lie


Fog curls around green velvety mountains. The quaint looking fishing village reminds me of an ink drawing from Japan, where my mother is from. In Sitka, as far north as I have been, the first session of writing class had me a little nervous. To get to know one another the instructor suggested we tell everybody about ourselves, by telling two truths and a lie. Simple enough. I am a loner by nature, truth. I am an only child, independent and creative enough to enjoy alone time.  Painting is my passion, truth. I am happiest when I am painting. The truth was easy to find. It’s the lie that is harder.

I thought of my opposites. My father. He liked to drink, a lot. I was so afraid to follow in his footsteps that I joined a cult of no alcohol-drinking, vegetarians to keep me sober. I love to gamble, lie. My mom once told me if she had known my father was a gambler she would not have married him. By the time she found out he was a drinker and a gambler, she was already pregnant in a country she barely spoke the language. Sometimes I get mad at my dead dad for forcing my mom to change, to become a hard person. I know when she first arrived here, she was soft and yielding like any well behaved Japanese girl at the time. Such a simple concept, two truths and a lie, makes me ache inside.

11 responses

  1. Wow. This brief piece of writing is very powerful and reads so naturally I swear I could hear your voice. Thank you very much.


  2. so much said in so few words. so much heartache. beautifully written.

  3. Long story, brief post. You are amazing in that you can say so much in so few words! Excellent.


  5. Thank you. The simplicity of two truths and lie was very revealing. I don’t think anybody knew how sensitive the topic was until, maybe they read my essay. Thank you again for all your encouraging words.

  6. It really is the lies that can be harder to find, the things one has forgotten harder to remember.

  7. compelling beginning to a longer story.

  8. This is a stunning piece, so much depth expressed so clearly with so few words, wonderful,thank you.

    I read this days ago and thought I had left a comment, my apologies.

  9. Like Jill I read this days ago and thought I had commented but hadn’t – sorry. It’s an amazingly powerful piece of writing – so much said in so few words.

  10. Sarah Joyce Bryant | Reply

    In my first writing residency, we were given the same exercise. What seems like a simple exercise is anything but simple. Learning our truth is hard enough. But coming up with something that is a lie, but close enough to convince others that it is our truth, well, that brings a lot to the surface.

  11. powerful and succinct words

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