Friday, March 28, 2008

The Six Word Memoir

Have you heard about The Six Word Memoir? Mrs. P., the most voracious reader I know, mentioned it, probably because she's noticed how many memoirs have been turning up on my list of read books. She is a high school English and drama teacher, so she asked her students to write their six word memoirs. Then she asked her sixth grade son. And her parents. For all I know, she's asked the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker to do it too.

Of course I made my own attempts. This exercise reminded me a lot of the assignments in fourth grade to write haikus, counting out syllables on my fingers. It reminded me so much of that, in fact, that I had to remind myself not to count a words like "accidents" or "doesn't" by their syllables.

What I found hard about it were things that were true about me and my experiences, but that I didn't want that to be the whole story I tell of my life. The first thing that came to mind was "I learned: Love doesn't conquer all." Well, that's true, but my life hasn't mainly been about disappointment in love (if I were 20, or 26, maybe). So what has it been about?

All my turning points were accidents.

To elaborate (in six-words):

College decision made in grocery line.

Fell in love with best friend.

Harry's Mother downstairs, Yellow Brick Road upstairs (I know that's seven, but I can't call it "YBR" here).

Too many men, joined bi group.

Zirpu was Craigslist Bachelor Number Eight.

Started financial aid when college desperate.

Took up dancing on a whim.

Car accident in Fresno literally accident.

Googled food bank, selected wrong one.

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