Gossip and rumors are obviously not good things.
They do not, however, happen in a vacuum. They occur when truth is obscured, when shadows are presented as light, when people responsible for giving explanations are not trustworthy themselves.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a small town squabble or national debacle. Regular, decent people are smart enough to know when they’re being put off, and that’s too often how these things go.
“Just don’t say anything about it, and it will all die down,” is the conventional wisdom of people in power.
But it doesn’t. Die down, that is.
Once the item is off the front page of the newspaper, replaced by something new and improved that is distressing, shocking and violent (or, conversely, some wild and wacky antic by a reality show celebrity), it’s assumed that it’s forgotten. And while the rumors and gossip may die down, the questions, the doubt, the distrust held by regular, decent, smart people remain.
And most importantly . . . as the light shifts, it shines into the shadows, and what was hidden is revealed.
The artwork, Mt. Nebo Range, catches the Utah wilderness mountains in a moment of clouds obscuring the peaks. At the foothills, portions of the landscape repose in darkness, and it’s difficult to see detail.
But the landscape, and weather, are not static — as we stand in the winding dirt pathway at the right foreground of the image, we look at the peaks and know that sometime — maybe soon, maybe not — the breeze will blow the clouds away and the peaks will shine in their detail. As the sun advances across the sky, what was in shadow will be no more. The entire landscape will look different.
All we have to do is wait — patiently, watchfully, steadfastly. And while we wait, we continue to think.
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