Veracity is “habitual truthfulness”.
They were afraid of her, though.
They were afraid of what she’d say, and for years, she silenced herself because of it. For years she downplayed everything – her passion, her beliefs, her hopes, the company she kept.
For years, she let the fear define her. It stunted her growth, her words, her songs and her creativity in many ways. Words had always been her palette, blank pages her easel. For years, she stood in front of a blank slate.
Eventually, she let the words flow again. Eventually, she remembered who she was. Her return to habitual truthfulness lost her some friends and gained her some new ones. It lost her some clients and gained her some new ones. The fear, however, was gone and the blank pages began to fill themselves, some in scattered, angry, psychopathic handwriting, others in clear, concise san-serif fonts, but come out they did, pouring out over everything as if she’d had one drink too many; sloppy, vomitous and rank, and totally uninhibited.
Soon she began to learn once again how to hold her words, how to take things in a little more slowly, how to pour them out with sophistication and ease.
Still, those moments of rage needed their place; sometimes, there was simply no place for apathy. Sometimes, the injustice was just too much. Sometimes, the truth needed to be spoken, to be screamed, to be scrawled out on walls in sloppy red paint where no one would miss it, and when those times came, she was no longer afraid. She embodied veracity.
In 2008, I was traveling through southern Arizona. I’d been called there because I’d discovered the work of Karl Hoffman, who’d documented the humanitarian crisis that was then, and is still, taking place in this tiny town 11 miles north of the Mexican border in his series Living on the Border. The townspeople were, and are still, under siege, with border patrol checkpoints everywhere violating their rights and privacy.
Simultaneously, footpaths led migrants straight into this tiny town. Many of the migrants were unprepared for the desert climate at night. Many suffered immensely, and many died. People in Arivaca told stories about waking up to find whole migrant families asleep in their cars, or parents in nothing more than summer clothing, their children dressed in everything else to stay warm. Residents of Arivaca have been told it is illegal to help these fellow human beings, but organizations like No More Deaths are working to help people. The photograph above was taken at a private camp where No More Deaths volunteers had created a shrine of objects they’d found on the migrant trails, along with crosses for those who did not survive the trip. After watching recent videos online of US Border Patrol agents destroying humanitarian aid on migrant trails, I felt, once again, that it’s time to speak up on this issue. If you aren’t indigenous to this land, you, too, come from immigrants, and chances are, you descended from people seeking a better life here. Be kind.