Michelle Tea + Revelation

“It’s about the irrevocability of revelation.” Tea meant this in relation to self-revelation but something was just revealed to me about someone I love that was universe-shifting and I wish I didn’t know it. Not because it changes how I see or feel about them, because it doesn’t, but because I know this information was withheld purposely and I feel that I’ve betrayed them despite receiving the information mistakenly and certainly not seeking it out.

This makes me wonder about revelation in general—or information, perhaps—and how we craft stories. We curate, we choose what readers (or people in our lives) know and when they know it. And thus, endless questions: Can we reveal things that don’t help the reader? Can we reveal things too soon? How do we know what to reveal when? And how do we delicately allow the story to unfold so that the revelations are made by the reader through the story rather than from a sledgehammer of a line? Not to say that sledgehammer lines aren’t helpful sometimes too. But don’t you love that slow-burn puzzle piecing that leads to the revelation (sometimes in fiction, even before the characters themselves!)?

What is revealed (either to oneself or to others) is also complicated by third variables such as choice or desire. “Does turning against your highest knowledge do something bad to some very good part of you?” You can probably argue both sides. I lean towards no. I am going to work to forget that I know what I know. I am going to disavow the revelation because it is irrelevant to my relationship with this person. But, not all revelations are equal.

We are all doing our human best.

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One Response to Michelle Tea + Revelation

  1. “Not all revelations are equal.”
    For sure, Sarah! And what makes a revelation have more impact on a person? I imagine the same revelation would mean something more/different to one person than another, as each individual reaction/response is formed from individually held beliefs or experiences. Do we know what kinds of revelations would throw us the most before they are revealed? I think no – and that is the power of them when they happen, the unexpectedness that throws us off kilter and forces us to reassess, re-evaluate our assumptions and modes of operation. But then these revelations also become an opportunity for personal growth for the same reasons, i.e., that they throw us out of our normal patterns.
    Oh, god, speaking of being thrown off normal patterns…COVID…
    Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

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