The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daddy's Girl

Daddy’s Girl
It is natural for a young girl to look up to her mother. Wanting to look, act, and speak like her is a dream that most daughters keep. I like to compare my mother to an angel. She is graceful, kind, and glows from the inside out. She spends her spare time gardening, practicing yoga, and preparing the house for the next upcoming holiday. Although I pray that one day I will magically adopt my mother’s patient ways, I was not born possessing her lovable qualities. I was born a terror.
            As a toddler, I had the might of a grown man. My behavior got to the point that my mom was forced to nail my door shut because there was not way she could keep me from bolting out of my time-out space. I would heave picture frames at the walls as an expression of my anger and my two-year-old rage brought my saint-like mother to tears. My dad was no good at disciplining me until I was older. He would watch my mom and me fight as he would remind her, “Hunny, you’re losing to a two-year-old.” I like to think that the reason my dad didn’t put up a fight is because he knew stood no chance against my spunk.
            You see, to say I am my father’s daughter would be an understatement. I like to tell my dad, “I know you better than you know yourself.” I know that he has learned to control his temper by humming whatever self-composed tune comes to mind first. I know that he only calls my mom, “dear” when he’s frustrated, and I know that he scrunches his nose and clenches his jaw when he’s trying to hold in his not-so-manly tears. I know these things, and everything else because I am the same.
            My dad knew he couldn’t win against me at two because he understood me. He knew I was a heard-headed winner just like him. He understood me, so he was able to help me. Sometimes I would get so angry that my dad would ball up his fist and let me chomp down on the knuckle of his index finger. I would hold my bite until my head shook. Then I would feel better. My dad got me outside. I would play baseball with him for hours. He allowed me to come to every practice and game of baseball teams he coached, and even let me get at bat every once in a while. As I began to grow up, my dad pushed me toward the ore normal, lady-like activities that little girls ought to be interested in. We went to daddy daughter dances, he drove me to the beach multiple times a week to surf, and today he has self-proclaimed himself as “alpha phi dad.”

The Beauty Of Prayer

As I have grown older I have struggled with maintaining a level of spirituality. I often question my methods of praying and doubt my ability to pray “effectively.” Although I am well aware that there is no right or wrong way to pray, I believe that I am lacking in the levels of spirituality sought out by my faith.
As a Catholic woman, born and raised, who has attended religious affiliated schools, my Catholic faith has always been embraced, encouraged and fostered. However, I struggle with the practice of freeing my mind and escaping into a state of peace, solitude and prayer. In its basic form, praying is meditating. Taking a step back from our busy lives to just breathe and reflect upon our life and the life of those living around us. I know what it is and what it means to free yourself, but I can’t manage to escape into it. Regardless of my ability to pray the way I believe I should, I still practice my own form of prayer. Whether it is a “Hail Mary”, “Our Father” or a mumbling of words asking for God’s healing; I know he is listening. I have learned that no matter how you talk to God or what you pray for, our prayers are answered in some form or another. That is the beauty of it. God works in mysterious ways. Ways in which I don’t think us humans can fully grasp. He has a will and reason for all of his good works. We just have to find a way to open our hearts and minds to understanding how and why he performs his goodness.
This past week my mind was tested as my faith was ultimately restored and my prayers answered. My great uncle had unexpectedly been suffering from kidney cancer; a disease I learned he battled with over ten years ago. He had won the first battle, but lost this one because he only had one kidney left to try and function in his deteriorating body. His battle with cancer, the symptoms, the emotions, the inability to care for himself was something I was all too familiar with. My grandfather had passed away from esophageal cancer almost two years ago and it remains fresh in my mind. I have come to realize that there are similarities and differences with every case, but in the case of my Uncle Rudy his second battle with cancer defeated him sooner than we could have thought.
When I became aware of his illness and how aggressive the cancer was, as blood flooded into his kidney, I prayed. I prayed the way I knew how. I asked God that he may find peace amongst all this turmoil and be at peace during his passing. A day before he died he was hallucinating and given a strong dose of a hallucinogenic to calm him. It appeared to have help because the next morning he was at ease with his current physical state. However, that evening Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm he passed away in his sleep, as his immediate family stood holding hands alongside his bed. Although it was devastating to watch their husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather leave them on earth, they were reassured by the kindness of God’s good graces that he was in a better place and would live on in their hearts forever.
It was at 9:23 pm that I received the call about my uncle. At the time I felt a little sigh of relief. My prayers answered. He was out of his pain and reached a state of ultimate peace. The life he was living was not quality of life. It was hardly living at all. But now he was on his way up to heaven to be with my grandpa, to be another guardian angel that would watch over my family as we grow. I know deep down that he is in a better place. A place I can only imagine, but truly believe in. A place I believe hears every form of prayer I mumble. So, for these reasons I continue to pray.  


Young wise and reckless

A contradiction in itself
She thought she knew it all
Except about herself
Intrigued by many things
Explore as reasons come
But one thing she was lacking
As she traveled to and from
The joy within her heart
Had one empty spot
She wants to fill the void
Without forgetting what she’s taught
She ask herself these questions
What? Why and when?
Will she meet her mate?
And when will life begin?
Always feels so lonely
But she's never alone
Independent woman
With her mind and body strong
She wants to ascend higher
But she can't do this all alone
Humans need companions
It is that that sets the tone
Fear of what they'll say
And the consequences ahead
She wants and needs the passion
But she chose to wait instead
Trusting what will come
Will be worth the lonely wait
Destiny will come
Time is not her fate
It was made for one real purpose
Though the pleasure is a plus
Patience and resistance
And pray to God she trust.

-Chanel Mitchell

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

California Daze

Everyday is a California day
where you can put your stresses at bay.
The sun will always shine
and the wind feels just fine.

Playing beer darts in the backyard
or a drinking game with a deck of cards.
Nothing compares to the Santa Monica Peer,
which holds perfection like a set of veneers.

The taste of ice cream from the creamy
has the ability to put me in a state of reverie.
There’s always a need to wear sunglasses
like when I go outside for one of my classes.

Sitting outside playing a board game
really isn’t that lame.
The ocean is a healing power
with it’s salt water shower.

There’s something about this life that is too perfect
but for now I’ll just experience this California effect.

Megan Gallagher


Lorena Love Brothers
What is happening around us?

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, committed the atrocious act of shooting 20 elementary school children, 6 adults, and his mother, before taking his own life. This heinous incident that took place in Newton, Connecticut not only brought great pain to the people of our nation, but also left us with many unanswered questions. What is the driving force for one to commit such and evil act?
On the grounds that the victims’ lives were taken with a gun the citizens of our nation had the immediate reaction of placing the blame on guns. Is it accurate for us to put the blame on the gun laws? Could the blame be solely on the man who pulled the trigger, which resulted in the damage that day?
If we compare the new proposed gun control laws to the ongoing problem in society, drugs, we will see that just because they are illegal does not stop citizens from attaining them and abusing them.  They continue to be easily assessable. Will the push for gun control laws truly make a difference or will it just be another loss of rights to the citizens of this country? If gun control laws are passed, and a man seeking to commit mass murders comes along, will the gun control laws truly stop him from attaining a weapon and committing mass destruction? Perhaps the real problem is deeper than laws can control. Perhaps the problem leading to gun violence is the new found shaping of citizens within our society loosing sight of the meaning of life. Perhaps people are slowly becoming hypnotized by the consistent attraction for violence in media, be it video games, film and television, all of which distort the reality of violence. We must take a closer look at the culture we are shaping as a society. Perhaps we have created a disconnection between people. Media devices are carried and used, people delve into Netflix and fantasies that are growing violent and far from moral or spiritual works. It seems to me that the characters most celebrated are those who are willing to be the most brutal, cold, calculating humans. There is a very negative outlook of humanity that is being exposed in American culture. This in and of it self is not bad considering that all views should be considered and protected by freedom of speech, but there does not seem to be a balance in consumption of positive viewpoints and perhaps with the productions of positive stories.

I think the gunman’s soul fled his body. His mind and body became completely disconnected. He was left in complete disconnection from reality and all that stood was this human corps in disarray. Is it possible that he was dead before he actually put a bullet in his head prior to shooting bullets into innocent children and other people for that matter?
His vision for life was lost; his empty eyes were the only source for shooting. His body falsely acting, like that of a machine that has encountered a major malfunction, this one driven by pure evil.
Evil existing within the beauty of the world. Evil that fills the cracks, the empty holes, where love does not exist. Perhaps that day evil wanted to reveal its capability to a world loosing love. Perhaps the real weapon that day was evil within a man’s body. Maybe evil is merely a void, an absence of love, beauty, and goodness. Have we created an abyss that takes everything from you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I am a Woman

Though we were not friends
You stayed in my life for centuries at once
And screamed and fought with my big sister.
Watching above in the loft
I witnessed the feelings you claimed to be lost
Of which clearly existed, expressed in another form

Deafening bellows awoke the neighbors
But you stuck to your guns
Void of emotions, you claimed              ignorantly
As your indisputable male voice roared
Throughout the kitchen
Throughout the yard
Throughout next door
Throughout the city

            I can’t live in this house of women
            You’re all so emotional, you’d say.
            Painting your nails, doing your make-up.
            Wearing your dresses, singing your songs.
            Jesus Christ, you all and your feelings.

I am a Woman.
But it was you whose anger would reverberate throughout the streets
on any given day
A shout at my mother here, a table turned there
Your snide comments limitless
Booming       radiating
Changing the otherwise gay, as you’d call it, energy
A man, a mask.
A multitude of palpable passion.

Yes, I am a Woman.
But not even my emotions run that high.  

- Carmen Iben

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Heart of Gold.

A Heart of Gold

           My mother and I had always had our differences. We shared contrasting opinions in almost every matter, resulting in petty disagreements almost every other day. Our biggest altercation came during the winter I turned fourteen. It was also the year I learned how much my mother loved me.
           My friends, up until a certain point, were my world. They brought me into a place that my mother couldn’t. A place that wasn’t enriched with piano lessons and countless hours of studying, but a place I could actually be a normal teenager. They were not Chinese, and because of that difference, my mother was, in a sense, inferior.
            When I found out that my best friends were throwing me a birthday dinner, I almost collapsed in happiness. It meant that I could get out of the typical Chinese Christmas slash birthday dinner with my mother, and actually have a birthday that I would forever remember. But as all this wonderful news washed over me, I knew, in the back of my mind that my mother was to come along. There wasn’t a chance in the world that I would be able to leave reality behind. And with that thought, the dread began.
               I woke up the morning of the party, not knowing what was going to happen. My mother was already bustling around in the kitchen soaking the fungus-like tofu in a bowl and steaming a scaly, length-long fish. “Your friends will love,” she said, as she saw me eyeing her delicacies disappointedly. The morning rolled by, and suddenly it was time to get ready. As I put on my tweed miniskirt and pearls, I was filled with shame. I did not know what my mother had planned. And I was just so certain that she was going to ruin everything.
              We arrived promptly at five—and my mother began taking out bags of her food and Chinese trinkets. My friends came running our across their long, green lawn and as we squealed excitedly about the evening’s plans, my mother barged right in, handing everyone a five dollar ‘red-pocket.’ “Use wisely,” she said with a big smile, as she began trudging across the lawn and into the house. Our previous chatter was instantly replaced by an incredibly long silence. Rolling my eyes, I gave the girls a weak shrug and began to follow her into the seven-bedroom wonder.
          Dinner put me into deeper despair. The dining room was filled with the jingles of Christmas carols and the warmth of holiday candles. The table was piled high with a roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, casseroles, and any other Western delicacy that one might be able to imagine. My mother’s food sat in between everything else, and it looked exactly like an inter-continental mess. After grace was said, my mother began handing out her food, waving her chopsticks saying, “This good,” or “You try!” Everyone’s plates were filled with mashed potatoes and squid or turkey and tofu, and it seemed as if nobody was touching their food except for my mother. She licked her chopsticks and went on in her broken English about how well I was doing in piano or how many A’s I had gotten that semester. My friends murmured their responses as I sunk deep and deeper into my chair. Then came time for the fish. She had eaten almost the whole steamed fish when she started to nibble into the tender meat of the cheeks and the eye. My friends looked as if they were ready to vomit, and I was quite ready to disappear.
                In my mind, dinner went on for ages. But when it was finally over, it was time for cake and presents. A Chinese-taro cake sat next to the chocolate-fudge cake my friends had so lovingly baked. As they sang, the candles went out, and I wished hard for an American life. When presents were handed out, my mother bustled around the room like a Chinese Santa Clause, handing every single person a crumpled paper package. When she got to me, she said, “Your present too important, we wait until go home.” This was the last straw for me. How could my mother be so publicly embarrassing and uncaring? What had I done to deserve this?
            The drive home was quiet. I said nothing, and my mother knew that I was angry. When we got home, I stomped up to my room, slammed the door, and cried like I was a little girl again. My mother came up during my sobbing and said, “You want American life, I know.” She handed me a neatly wrapped package. It was a beautiful golden locket that I had been eyeing for months, and inscribed inside was my full Chinese name. She placed her hand to my heart, “But in here, you always be Chinese. You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame.”
             Even though I didn’t agree with her then, I knew that she understood how much I had suffered on that cold December night. She knew how much shame I had in her being there. But it wasn’t until some time later, that I was willing and able to truly appreciate her gift-- as well as her valuable lesson. For Christmas that year, my mother had given up two months salary to buy me that locket. My friends told me later, the pride she had shown at the jewelry store when asking them which locket I would prefer. And I began to understand that she wasn’t out to ruin my life. She was there to love it.