Sunday, 31 August 2008

The story of my life in six words

Somewhere in blogoland I came across the idea of writing your life story in just six words. I've done a Google to see where it may have come from, and in the process came across the following:

In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway bet ten dollars that he could write a complete story in just six words. He wrote: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn." He won the bet.

I find this a very interesting exercise because it forces one to concentrate on the absolute nub of what your life seems to be/have been. I'm sorry to say that so far my six words only conujour up sadness. Self pity, or the reflection of childhood?

Anyway, if you will bear with some shameless (and therapeutic) self indulgence, here are three attempts.

"Tossed aside, but found a way."

"Conceived and deceived. Still no answers."

"Bad parents. Mad children. Stupid really."

I'd be very interested to read what you might come up with; and a few cheerful ones would be just great!

Added later:

I have been inspired by dot to be more positive. He is right. As I indicated in my response to his comment, my life is good, and I am happy. The past is the past. He challenged me to try my life story in six positive words, so here they are:

"Started badly; who cares? Finishing well".

29 comments:

DOT said...

Interesting indeed, though I was aware of the Hemingway story.

Sorry to see that you see only negative things in your life's story. To me, you, in your picture lounging elegantly back in your chair, look successful, relaxed and thoughtful. I recognise that what one presents is not necessarily what one feels. Your blog also reflects these qualities.

I challenge you to write your life in six positive words.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

dot - you are right of course. My life is very good, I am happy and relaxed, and I have a lovely family.

I still find my childhood perplexing, and now, with both parents dead, no one to supply the answers I would like. I don't need an apology, just info.

Anyway, that's not to be. Responding to your challenge, how about "Started badly; who cares? Finishing well".

mouse (aka kimy) said...

interesting challenge!

bless dot for the assistance in the reframe....

namaste ernie....

DOT said...

It is harder than it looks. I keep writing qualities I perceive in myself rather than my story.

Anyway 10/10 for your last effort, Ernest.

Baino said...

Oooh it's tough alright. Might save that one for a rainy day as you're right of course, it's easier to be negative despite the good bits. I like your final one actually, suits my life as well!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

mouse - yes indeed, well done dot.

dot - see above.

baino - you're welcome to borrow mine, but I'd like to see your (or anyone's hint hint) attempt all the same.

Miranda said...

Oooh, its HARD! Okay here are my feeble attempts.

Ups, downs, mostly ups. Essentially happy

More ups than downs; lucky me

Lucky me. Born. Live. Happy. (Hurrah).

Happiness distilled – that’s my short life

Minor heartbreaks, but I’ve bounced back

Right continent. Wrong colour. Oh well.

Mostly happy, which is nice, hey?

Born: cried. Childhood: laughed. Adulthood: laugh

Ernest de Cugnac said...

miranda, feeble? They are absolutely fabulous. And very descriptive.

Miranda said...

Really? Well thanks. Now we need more from everyone else. Come on!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

I wonder if a meme is called for - perhaps to three bloggers one nominates, each of whom must attempt the task and so on. Anyway, shake janelle's cage (if she feels better poor soul) to see what she comes up with.

Working mum said...

I've seen these around, but didn't realise it stemmed from Hemingway. As a mathematician I don't feel blessed with literary genes, but I am good at being concise so here goes:

working mum having fun doing sums

Ernest de Cugnac said...

wm, like it!

Miranda said...

Good idea. I shall shake Janelle's cage....

tam said...

Here are mine:

Learning to love: from sprouts - baobabs.

Shy girl onstage returned to books.

Thin bush waif ate a library.

Loved trees, ate books, spat words.

Born noisy, grew quiet. Speak up!

Miranda said...

How about: Just woke up. Is this it?

tam said...

or this: "Its been great. Where's the exit?"

Ernest de Cugnac said...

miranda and tam - I must do a joint response here, because you are both so good at this.

Both your lists are absolutely excellent, but I just loved your final contributions.

"Just woke up. Is this it?"
and
"Its been great. Where's the exit?"

I feel I should be handing out prizes, but accept my humble admiration instead.

Miranda said...

Haha. Thanks. We don't mind a joint response, we are sisters after all. Share the same brain (well, Tam's is slightly more advanced than mine, but hey!)

Janelle said...

the cage is rattled. HELLO!
still no voice though. and loads of catching up to do.
the six liner eh? to sum up a life?

its the blink of an eye.

bizzzzzzzzz j

Janelle said...

oh and ps I care that you started badly. Sorry! X j

Ernest de Cugnac said...

miranda - sisters? well, well, well. might have known from the stylistic resonance.

good one janelle, and on the cosmic scale that we like, absolutely true! v glad you're on the mend and thanks for your sympathy. Feeling thoroughly ashamed of myself. I'd love to be better at turning the page, but find it difficult. The fact is life is good. Chest out, shoulders back!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I seem to recall that one of my blogging buddies ran a competition on this very theme about two years ago. I can't remember what I said back then but I don't imagine it would be that much different now!

Maybe something like: Challenges presented, challenges met. Living fully.

or

Awoke. Now watching with eyes open.

:-)

Ernest de Cugnac said...

av - hey, I like the second one more, quite surrealistic.

Has some similarities to miranda's "Just woke up. Is this it?"

I like the idea, that you both have, of somehow 'waking' into this world.

Lehners in France said...

'Life's a bitch, then you die'.

But I've always been a miserable sod ...


bob

Ernest de Cugnac said...

bob - I have taken it upon myself to reframe yours and it comes out like this:

"Miserable sod, but did some good".

Lehners in France said...

Well I was going to put 'Happily I contributed two good spermatazoa'.

After all we are only here to continue propogating the wretched species....

Ernest de Cugnac said...

bob, I expect you contributed rather more than two, but I guess you refer to the two that did *not* fall on stoney ground (as it were).

Lane said...

This is so difficult without being flippant or negative. I tried several times but they were all flippant and negative:-)

Ok, trying to be honest -

Was slightly askew. Learning to align.

Slow to grow up. Still growing.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

lane - I find the six word limit easy enough, but you do need to have several goes at it.

I did like your "slightly askew"; nice image and poetic too.