I stumbled on the Six Word Memoir challenge started by Michelle Reynoso, through a LinkedIn group. It's simple — (1) describe (2) your (3) life (4) in (5) six (6) words — but addictive. Here's hers. Bottom to top; over and over. Here's mine. Lived eyes closed. Wrote eyes open. As of March 5th, more than 100 people have left their 'autobiographies.'
Why are we are so attracted to the idea of micro-autobiography? As one member wrote (in six words) "Six words cannot summarize my life," it is impossible to squash our entire life history into a single sentence. (Well we can, as we all became aware that one time, around 4am, but let's skip that part.)
I liked the idea because it was actually about searching, not summarizing. We all want to find the central theme, the common thread, that runs in our life. Sometimes we catch its glimpse or shadow, but after the initial three-hour empowerment gets milked by our work, life, and fantasies, all that's left is the vague memory that we had our moment of sensation. The core message, or lesson, is gone.
The six-word challenge gives us the perfect tool to retain the message. Six words are long enough to contain important ideas but short enough to shut out unnecessary words (noise). Most important of all, the six-word phrase is easy to remember. It does not vaporize amid the daily chaos. Find it, note it, keep it.
Wanna know how memorable short message could be? A while ago, the CEO of Sun Microsystems tweeted his resignation in haiku. "Financial crisis / Stalled too many customers / CEO no more" I don't (won't) even remember his name, but I surely will remember this line.
What might be your six-word memoir?
P.S. Inspired, I have started a photo haiku series on my Tumblr account (the latest one appears on the sidebar of this blog). The haiku format may turn mundane photos (I have too many of them) into lesson/joke/scandal/whatever. I hope.