Monday, February 11, 2008

Trying not to overthink

“The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” Henry David Thoreau
Sunday morning last dawned clear and cold at -37 degrees windchill. These were perfect conditions for a sighting of the sundog above. I actually saw two, one on each side of the sun, forming a broken halo. Sundogs happen when the sun shines through ice crystals in a cirrus cloud and even though I'm usually always easily impressed, seeing this for the first time left me speechless.
Now, moving from the sublime to sorta the ridiculous. An article appeared in the St. Paul Sunday newspaper from a Los Angeles column by Larry Smith and Rachel Ferschleiser who have written a book called Not Quite What I Was Planning--Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Whew!

Long story short, they borrowed an idea from Ernest Hemingway challenging readers of their online magazine SMITH to write their life story in just six words. To get the juices flowing they offered examples like chef Mario Batalli who submitted , "Brought it to a boil, often." or Nora Ephron's "Secret of life: Marry an Italian." and Stephen Colbert's "Well, I thought it was funny."

I was totally taken by this simple idea. They added, "As we type this [column], a quick glance reveals that Emily Hambridge 'wanted to write but feared failure.' With a half a dozen words and few clicks of the keyboard, she's just rewritten the story of her life."

Here's some of my favorites:

My second grade teacher was right.--Janelle Brown

Dad wore leather pants in Reno. --John Falk

Where the hell are my keys?--Brady Udall

Fifteen years since last professional haircut.--Dave Eggers

I think, therefore I am bald.--Dickie Widjaja

Its pretty high. You go first.--Alan Eagle

and my favorite:

Became my mother. Please shoot me.--Cynthia Kaplan

So, I'll share mine with you when I figure it out and maybe you'll do the same?

I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it.

Jack Handey


Marianne said...

Very fine post! (I'm having all sorts of chuckles :^)
The Sun Dogs, YES! I've been seeing those my whole life... when Conor was around 2 I was driving home from work and noticed Sun Dogs in the sky and whipped over to my mom's, where Conor was, ran in and grabbed him, telling him I was going to show him sun dogs.. and made it quite clear to him NOT to look at the sun but on each side, mercy, he was so excited about seeing dogs in the sky...heh. He did finally 'get it' and still talks about the Sun Dogs!
We usually see them in the evenings.
Can't wait to read what you come up with for your six words, those were great :^)

Beatriz's suitcase contents said...

Hi! Michelle at Bleeding Espresso had a post about the 6 words, and I wrote this there, I figured that I could share it with you too. (I could have done a new one, but I am lazy today). I have lived 14 years as a foreigner, talking in a language that is not mine, so here it goes:
Speak with accent, think without one.
Tell me yours...

Chris said...

TV only distracts for so long…


An odorless fart is simply music -- this one's obscure, but true, and not because my shit doesn't stink.

I should probably just steel the mom quote; the truth hurts!

Julie Marie said...

The last is my fave too. I'll do one also - when I figure it out.

Reminds me of the old tombstone - "I told you I was sick."


Granny Smith said...

My life in 6 words? I collected a lot of junk