Distilling a life, into perfect words

sixwords.pngFor those of us intimidated by the idea of writing a biography, this new book shows that sometimes six words can be enough. Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure is, as NPR writes: “…sometimes sad, often funny — and always concise” and they posted a gallery of illustrated ones online. What I found interesting was this project began by using Twitter in a contest requiring you to sum up your life in six words (sponsored by the online magazine, Smith). Yet, as anyone who has ever tried to write a haiku can attest, finding those perfect six words can be pretty difficult. Simplicity is never really that simple, which is what makes this so brilliant.

When I first heard of Twitter in 2006 I thought it was simply another slightly foolish time waster for those people perpetually tethered to the net. After all, who cares what you’re doing every moment of the day. Then I heard it could be a viable alternative to the phone when communicating in a disaster. And now it seems to be the perfect tool for creating and sharing this kind of “life poetry.” Once again first impressions aren’t always the most reliable ones when it comes to evaluating technology. That doesn’t mean I’m going to suddenly start using it of course. But if I wanted to brainstorm and gather tidbits of easily digestible personal information it sure would be an entertaining option.

A difficult position

images.jpegYou could argue that every day we all unintentionally or indirectly kill something; ending the life of an insect caught in the bathtub, eating meat or eggs, or wearing leather. But this blogger has a job which requires her to euthanize injured or sick animals:I work with a lot of injured wildlife. Also not wild animals that are just in a lot of pain. Sometimes I have to euthanize them. I decided to record each animal I euthanize here.” What a very tough job that must be even if you manage to find a certain peace in understanding it as an act of grace. I’m sure there are instances where the job is overwhelming. I remember very vividly the vets who helped me with jcee, and earlier with little edd. I was more than a wreck, but each time they brought a kind of mercy to the end of those lives I loved and I was so grateful for their powerful acts of kindness and understanding. There is nothing more difficult than making the decision to end an animals suffering and then having to watch the consequences of that decision, but at least advances in medical care and human understanding has made it so the end doesn’t have to be painful. Although I also wanted to be a vet when I was a kid I sensed way back then I didn’t have the fortitude to be able to hurt something in order to help it. I’ve always truly admired people like this who can.