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Monday, August 12, 2013

My Six Word Story : Powerful and Concise


I'm writing this morning with tears in my eyes. I'm taking an online scrapbook course at Big Picture Classes by Ali Edwards called "Hello Story" where every week she is sharing a method or approach to telling your stories -- using what she calls story structures. Well this week's structure is telling a story in 6 words. It's based on Smith Magazine's Six Word Memoir Project. Ali also mentioned a challenge that was presented to Ernest Hemingway to write a short story in just 6 words. Here's the story he wrote and those of you who know me well will understand why it made me cry and run off to find Jim for a hug.

For Sale.
Baby Shoes.
Never Worn.

Jim and I lost our second child, Sam, who was stillborn at 38 weeks. It's been over eleven years now since Sam died and we don't talk about it all that much, but every now and then something like this will come up and get us/me thinking about him. Right now I understand what is meant by the expression, Heartache.

Turns out I'm having a Hemingway Summer. My book group read A Farewell to Arms for our June meeting. I'd read this in High School but apparently didn't remember much about it -- I certainly didn't remember that his "wife" had a stillborn baby and died at the end of the book. Then again, that would not have registered with me at all in High School -- I'm sure I though that those things only happened to people way back at the beginning of the 19th century. (Actually that's what I thought until we lost Sam) In fact the final birth scene in the book is a perfect fusion of my two birth experiences: a complicated delivery with an emergency C-section (Emma) and then a stillborn baby (Sam). Then we read The Paris Wife for our July meeting -- which is a fictionalized story of Hemingway' first wife and their time together in Paris in the twenties. And now this very short story.

Enough said. We are both off work today, Emma is at ECC camp and are going to explore Wickford -- a small village/town on the Narragansett Bay in North Kingstown, and then a trip to stock up on supplies at Trader Joe's.

Thanks for listening/reading.

2 comments:

Mom said...

Thanks for sending me your blog. I received the Wickford Village pic and love it.
I know Sam would be just as precious as Emma is and how is hurts to think about losing him. Three of my neighbors have lost children in the past, and the hurt doesn't go away.
I love you and will phone you tonight to find out about the Germany trip and possible ChloeSitting.

Cynthia at Flotsam of the Mind said...

I am familiar with Hemingway's 6-word story, and it's brilliant because it hits even those without a corresponding personal story right in the solar plexus. I'm sorry you were blindsided by it today, although I know that Sam is never far from your thoughts. Hope you had good day off.