The Evidence is Not In

I’d make a lousy attorney because I have come to distrust all evidence. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve been as addicted to it as the next aspiring whatever. I read the tea leaves of the moment for a sign, some proof I should, or I could, or I was meant to . . . What is evidence?  When I was fifteen an English teacher who considered herself a mentor of mine told me that I should maybe come up with the stories but let other people tell them. There’s evidence. Three years later a college professor told me mine was the best descriptive essay he’d ever read. More evidence, only strangely contradictory. What to believe?

But those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, yes? No. History cannot be repeated because it has already happened and every single thing that will happen has never happened before. There is no proof in the world that you should or should not do something, that you should or should not write something. Jonathan Evison wrote six novels before publishing All About Lulu to much acclaim. Weren’t those six unpublished novels evidence?

We all want to stand upon the firm ground of certainty. But there is nothing in the world of which you can be certain until you decide you are certain of it. Your lover can say he loves you, but you are not certain he loves you until you decide he loves you. The evidence of him saying he loves you means nothing. Are you a good father? One child has straight A’s, the other just started smoking pot. Of what can you be certain but that you love them both equally and you will try to do better tomorrow than you did today?

The only thing of which you ever need to be certain is that you are here for a reason, and that you are meant to do those things you love most. This is good news indeed. You will never be able to prove that you love someone or something – that is your truth alone. If you look for a trail in the crumbs of what has happened you will become lost. Rejoice. No jury can ever convict you of heading in the wrong direction, because no one knows where you are going except you.

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