‘Look’, my friend exclaimed, ‘if you ever doubted it, now you can see for yourself, the earth is flat, there is the edge over there, a straight line. If the earth was round it wouldn’t be a flat line’.
I was silent, too many answers spinning in my head, trying to pick the one, the definitive one, the one that would give clarity without offence.
‘You see, you know its true, you do’, my friend interrupted the silence, carving acquiescence from the void.
‘And look’, he added, as the dusk illuminated a pale full moon, “the moon is flat too, a flat disc hanging in the sky’.
‘The moon appears flat’, i responded, ‘its an issue of perspective.’ ‘Flat is flat and if there was a man on the moon he’d see that the earth is flat too’, my friend responded, confirming that he was not going to allow logic or science to interfere with the obvious.
Darkness engulfed us and our discussion. We made our way back across the rocks to our car, our careful footsteps contrasting with our words. That trip to the coast marked the end of our travels. A childhood friendship lay wrecked on the rocky shore of truth.
I think of that evening sometimes, usually when i’m grappling with the concept of truth, of its value, indeed of its very existence. In a world where truth is often considered relative, or irrelevant even, friends are easily lost in the haze.
I learnt that day that truth can contradict experience; we walk on a flat earth and yet it is not flat.
Once we know that, we can know anything.
Perhaps even how to keep friends and stay faithful to the truth.