Narrative veracity

Matt Scrimgeour
Sep 12, 2018 · 2 min read

An educator once described that “the form of teapot that you see and the teapot I perceive may differ”. For one it is apparent that a container with a protruding spout is the defining characteristic. While for the other it’s a handle that is prominent. Stepping back perspective reveals that the teapot truly has both features and more. The veracity of perception is affected by the parameters of perspective.

A man found himself in conflict with an other. The disturbance played on his mind and affected his ability to sleep. It fuelled an array of internal voices, as a variety of possible scenarios replayed on loop and mutated in his mind’s eye. In his view he had been wronged. Truth was on his side and yet now it was this same truth that was being challenged by the deviant other. As he relentlessly pursued justice the perspectives of the other were universally muted with prejudice.

A friend challenged him about his refusal to listen but their betrayal only fuelled his desire for vindication. He visualised the other breaking down and conceding publicly that his version of events was the real narrative. This nurtured rivalry rather than mapping ways to the truth of the matter. It reframed the game so that winning was now all that mattered.

His partner sat up in bed late one night as he caressed his visualisations of victory. Sleep talking, she said as if directly to him “ Tell me again what was it that caused the conflict with the other?” The man separated from his mindset mistress and he truly knew that he could not recall what had caused the conflict with the other. In that moment he was faced with the choice to make a decision at the crossroads of his heart.

An unfamiliar internal voice asked, what truths do I pursue in my relationships with others? Do I take care to listen to the perspectives of an other even when they contrast or conflict with my own? The man wept himself to sleep.

Matt Scrimgeour

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presently failed creator of fictional narratives coded with girardian veracity - however the silly bulls gather and I will write another 500 words this day