Veritas  Any Day Now
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Some Answers To The Question
Britt Leach

I was asked about the name of my journal. The person said, “‘Veritas Any Day Now.’ What does that mean?” Walking out of a restaurant after dinner. A woman I had just met. “I know that ‘veritas’ means ‘truth,’” she said. “But that other stuff. ‘Any Day Now’ what does that mean? ‘Veritas: Any Day Now.’ ”

“It’s on the banner,” I said. “What it means is on the banner.”

“The banner?”

“Yes, where you find that name, ‘Veritas: Any Day Now,’ on the cover, of my journal, the first page of my website. The banner, at the top. And under the name of my journal, that ‘Veritas stuff,’ there’s another line that reads, ‘Truth: Cosmologic, psychologic, theologic, philosophic…We have been promised. What shall we do while we wait.’”

“Yeah. So what does that mean?”

“Oh, well…Damn. Sorry, here’s my car.”


We were on a city sidewalk. Having had dinner. I was talking with a woman I had just met, who had read my journal, liked it, particularly the humor, but didn’t get the ‘Veritas stuff.’ And that’s fair because I’ve never fully explained it beyond that one line on the banner, and I shouldn’t just assume that people get it. This is the seventy-third issue of this journal. I’ve been working on cleaning up the design. It’s probably also time for an explanation of what I mean by my journal's name and that line on the banner of my journal, after “Veritas Any Day Now.” “Truth: Cosmologic, psychologic, theologic, philosophic…We have been promised. What shall we do while we wait? ”

OK. Just in case it's not clear, I don't believe in any Big Truth or “Final Theory of Everything” or God, for that matter, so that "Any Day Now" is ironic. But I recognize that there are Experts who do believe in Big Truth and have made certain promises:


The Promised Cosmologic Truth we’re waiting for: I mean that it is now said by some cosmologists that a mysterious Dark Matter makes up most of the universe, and these expert cosmologists are beginning to use phrases like “not within our ability to conceptualize.” In other words, they don’t know how to think about it. Our wait for the big truth might be over on that one— although I doubt that it was what they were going for: 96% unknowable.

The Promised Psychologic Truth we’re waiting (and paying) for: I mean an effective psychotherapy. Not just a nice guy or gal with warm hands and big ears. Are you kidding? The talking cure?

The Promised Theologic Truth we’re waiting for: I mean that “God" sure is a playful old bastard with His random acts of cruelty. So much cruelty that the theologians have a special study of it: theodicy, an attempt to justify God’s cruelty. (OK, “theodicy: absence of divine providence in relation to the existence of evil.” Same thing.) When is He going to sort it all out? Explain his cruelty to us? Get His truth to us? Any Day Now. Theologians will let us know.

The Promised Philosophic Truth we’re waiting for: I mean that analytic philosophy has been the focus of philosophy studies for many years now. Do you have a clue? Analytic philosophy? Say, is that Wittgenstein? Or is he logical positivism? And what does that have to do with how I live my life? There was a time when philosophy had to do with the art of living. Socrates, that bunch.

So in the absence of Veritas and while those experts who have promised us The Truth—scientists, shrinks, theologians, philosophers— bicker and have second thoughts and take our money and sometimes kill us—consider the misdiagnoses and speculative hoo-hah of psychotherapy— how are we supposed to live? “What shall we do while we wait?” That's the last part of the quote on the banner. Yes, how are we supposed to live?


In the early days of “Veritas: Any Day Now” I divided my website into five sections, to be found on the navigation bar at the top of each page, and still seen on my contents page: True Angst, True Photography, True Poetry, True Coffee and True Cats. In other words, against the absence of any Veritas, any Big Truth, I chose to acknowledge my terror (true angst) and seek comfort in smaller truths.

There’s another classification that I would include if I were still dividing my website by way of smaller truths. True Neighborhood. I believe in it, I do. I walk every day and talk to people I meet on the street, try to get to know something about them. I see homeless people and when they allow it talk with them. I see delivery people and postal carriers and talk to them. A few days ago, a postal carrier, a man named Ernesto, was hit by a car while attempting to cross Ventura Boulevard. I was out walking and saw him before the paramedics arrived. He wasn't badly injured, a broken ankle, bruises.

But we need a crosswalk on Ventura so that people won’t have to cross illegally and dangerously. It’s almost one mile between crosswalks on the stretch of Ventura where Ernesto was hit. So I called my city councilman’s office and told them about Ernesto. I complained about speeding cars and the dangers to pedestrians, the need for a crosswalk on that stretch of Ventura. Yesterday I got a call from an aide in the councilman’s office; she asked me to suggest where the crosswalk should be placed.

Will it happen? Who knows? Funds have to be allocated, all that. But I’ll call again if it doesn’t. Yes, so liking where I live means something, wanting to take care of it and my neighbors means something. I know it doesn't seem sophisticated to say it, but, yes, True Neighborhood.


Catherine has just taken some extraordinary photos that I hope to have on the site soon. I love her work. True Art.


I’m making wonderful espresso. Not perfect, but very good, with my little home machine. I have two double espressos daily, morning and afternoon, a peaceful time, my own little ritual. True Coffee.


And my cats. Jimmie and Alex, True Cats. It’s finally getting cool in southern California and Fat Jimmie requires more food—more feedings, same amount of daily food—when it gets cool. So he comes into my office and rubs, then butts, my leg while I’m working. I curse—Goddamnit, Jimmie!—but then get up and follow him into the kitchen where I put down just a bit of kibble for him. Same moves, several times a day. That’s Alex in the photo above, looking out of the window, observing. Yes, he’s very curious, very bright. There he sits, in the window of my office, making his inquiries of the birds, other cats, people passing. There’s Alex, collecting his world, seeking his truth. ###

Fat Jimmie

12 October 2007

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