There has, perhaps, never been a human virtue more subjective, yet simultaneously so defended, as the idea of Truth. Truth shifts and changes over time. Its only real constant is that it confounds us on the best of days and eludes us completely on the worst. Indeed, if Truth was straightforward to begin with, if it was something that humankind properly grasped and understood, the global library of literature, pages scrawled in both controlled and desperate attempts to assimilate the verity of life, might never have come into existence. A poet’s beauty would be only in rhyme and rhythm rather than substance; a novelist’s narrative would offer only respite and entertainment instead of exploration; a memoirist might only seem a narcissist rather than someone with courage enough to share the darker, more painful parts of his or her experience in the hope that such a story might help thousands of others who’ve experienced the same thing.
But Truth is not straightforward, as evidenced by the diversity of the selections we’ve chosen for this issue. Our authors don’t claim to understand or even offer truth in these stories; rather they challenge themselves—and subsequently, will now challenge all of you—to acknowledge the many sides of Truth. In “Verity,” the writer pits reality against myth, a slice of the fading American Dream against primitive stories, and comes to an inspiring conclusion about what it means to be alive. In “A Walk to Divide Meadow,” we see that the shortcomings of the human body do not have to result in loss of hope for life. And in “Badlands,” the writer offers a delightfully lyrical piece that treads the line of surreality so precisely that the question of what is true permeates the entire narrative, leaving the reader with more questions than answers.
Fittingly, that is the very nature of Truth: to inspire questions, to draw our minds and bodies to adventure and exploration in an effort to comprehend even a fraction of what it means to be alive. Thus it is with great pleasure—and a fair bit of humility—that we welcome you to the Truth issue of Mason’s Road.
Joshua G. C. Wise
Joshua G. C. Wise is a fiction writer who has just completed his MFA at Fairfield University. He has written for several print and online publications. Joshua is also an accomplished musician, an avid hockey and basketball fan, and a lover of fine spirits. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife.