I was e-rifling through a bunch of old files on my hard drive when I came across something I wrote a couple of years ago: My Six Word Memoir.
Legend goes that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a short story in only six words. Online storytelling magazine SMITH, took the idea one step further and challenged readers to write their personal memoir in only six words. So, what was the very first Six Word Memoir, you ask?
“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
Wow! That’s heavy.
SMITH now has a Web site devoted to Six Word Memoirs, and some of them are pretty interesting. “Screwing up always feels like living,” “Fed amniotic rainbows in the womb,” or “Never left the trailer park,” are but a few choice examples.
The Wikipedia entry on Six Word Memoirs provides a few celebrity Six Word Memoirs, as well. One of my favorites is Aimee Mann’s “Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs.” In typical Joan Rivers fashion, hers reads: “Liars, hysterectomy didn’t improve sex life!”
I think it’s an interesting exercise, trying to boil your life down to a mere six words.
So I’ll bet you’re wondering what I wrote as mine? Well, I was going through a bit of a rough time in my life when I did this, so keep that in mind as you read it.
“Onion. Peeled back to reveal nothing.”
Okay, so that’s a little heavy. That’s not even the most depressing one I wrote. But that, in and of itself, raises an interesting point.
Our perspective on life changes as time goes on. Who we are at our core may never change, but the way we see the world and the way we express ourselves does. It’s interesting to do things that reflect that perspective every once in a while.
It’s even more interesting to look back on those things further down the road. You know, to see how you’ve changed, to remind you of where you came from and to put life in perspective a bit.
I think it would have been interesting for me to have written a Six Word Memoir on New Years Day every year of my life. It would be interesting, after writing that year’s installment, to go back and read my memoirs from past years. I wonder how that would shape my perspective for the coming year. Would it serve as motivation, or would it just be disheartening?
Well, it’s been a few years since my last Six Word Memoir, so maybe it’s time I wrote a new one. Who knows? Perhaps this will be the beginning of a new annual tradition, or perhaps I’ll just stumble across it in another few years and use it as fodder for a new column.
“Losing it all means fresh start.”
There. Another Six Word Memoir completed. I wonder what this memoir will reveal to me in another few years. I’m really looking forward to finding out.
So how about you? Do you think you’re brave enough to write your own Six Word Memoir? If so, I’d love to read it.