The cruelty of Truth

John Coffey, a huge man with a simple mind and a kind heart.

He had the gift of god (as claimed by Paul Edgecomb) to heal others’ illnesses and he did it to Paul, to a mouse and to a lady who had brain tumor.

John also had the power of seeing another man’s heart and deeds when he touched him. And he would know whether a man was a good or bad man.

He was arrested and sentenced to death for raping and killing two little girls. But the truth was he never did rape or kill the girls, he was trying to heal and save them but was too late.

When Paul, the correctional officer who supervised the execution of death sentences, finally saw the truth, he couldn’t help but to think of how he could save John from the electric chair. The truth has become a burden to Paul, for he knew that an innocent man was going to be electrocuted for sin that he had never committed.

But John decided to face the end of his life.

And this was what he told Paul:

“I’m tired, boss.

I’m tired of being on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I’m tired of never having me a buddy to be with, to tell me where we’s going to, coming from, or why, Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world, every day. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?”

That shows how much John has been through, feeling lonely and tormented by the truth he had witnessed and experienced in most of his life.

The truth is mostly cruel, and knowing the truth may not be a good thing. And the fact that John could see the truth was not a gift from god (at least to him). It was in fact a curse, one that haunted him for years, for he witnessed the ugliness of this world.

Regardless, he remained kind and healed all good people who crossed his path.

All the above is from “The Green Mile”, a three hour movie that I completed watching on Friday evening and brought tears to my eyes.

In life, we often seek for the truth in almost anything we do. We seek to know true love, we seek for true feelings, we seek for true and honest feedbacks, we seek for true intentions, we seek for others to tell us that they love us, we seek for the ability to know the truth.

But we are never prepared for the truth which can sometimes (or most of the time) be disturbing to us, because the truth is mostly very much different from what we wish to believe or expect.

It happened to me many times.

I wished for things that can go the way I want to, I wished for love that will come my way, I wished for friendship that can last, I wished for miracles that will happen.

But when truth came my way, my heart sank with disappointment.

It’s not going to happen the way I wished.

And when I finally accepted it, I know I have to give up my wishful thinking and stop hurting myself.

I have done all that I need to do, I have given all that I want to give, and I have loved all that I want to love.

I have to move on, for whatever reasons there may be, especially when things are one sided, whether I like it or not.

It hurts now perhaps, but I am sure it will heal.

Nevertheless, I give myself and my loved one all blessings…

I drew this heart with the intention of drawing crack lines or a plaster, depicting a broken heart or healing heart. But when the work was completed, I couldn’t bring myself to destroy it for I have no one hundred percent faith with my sketching skill.

While it is not a perfect sketch, I am pleased with it. Other than the outline that was sketched with a mechanical pencil, the shading was fully done using a brush and graphite powder.

It isn’t perfect, and I accept it.


Francis Lim


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