Women and Honor : Some Notes on Lying by Adrienne Rich (1975)

An honourable human relationship – that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word « love » – is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

(…)

When someone tells me a piece of truth which has been withheld from me, and which I needed in order to see my life more clearly, it may bring acute pain, but it can also flood me with a cold, sea-sharp wash of relief. Often such truths come by accident, or from strangers.

It isn’t that to have an honourable relationship with you, I have to understand everything, or tell you everything at once, or that i can know, beforehand, everything I need to tell you.

It means that most of the time I am eager, longing for the possibility of telling you. That these  possibilities may seem frightening, but not destructive, to me. That I feel strong enough to hear your tentative and groping words. That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us.

The possibility of life between us.