“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway
We are prone to draw lines in the sand, lines that in our mind define a new year or a new decade. We choose to ignore that the next ebb tide will sweep in and erase our lines. The earth spins, the tides ebb and flow without any assistance from us or thought of humanity. A time of reflection on the beginning of a new year or new decade is not a bad thing, but if we are honest, our reset button is pushed every morning as we wake, regardless of what the calendar says.
Each day we have the opportunity to write something with our lives. It does not have to be a great novel or symphony, it does not even have to be a complete chapter or movement, it can be as simple as one true sentence or one true note. Each sentence or note builds on the other as one day builds on the next. Before you know it another year is past, and a complete chapter or movement is written.
I took piano lessons for years, emerging from the process as innocent of any musical ability as when I entered, except to learn an appreciation of the art form. Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Mozart, Rachmaninov, etc. give me great pleasure, but it’s not the crescendos or wild flourishes up and down the keyboard that thrill me, it’s the adagio or lento, the slower movements where there is a pause, a brief second or fraction of a second that creates drama. A moment of reflection, then when the note is struck, it reverberates … hanging in the air. It is a simple note, a pure note, maybe even one that I can aspire to.
99.9 % of us will toil in obscurity, but none of us toil in insignificance. One true sentence or one true note can take many forms and they will never make the news; patience with a child or elderly parent when there is no patience left to give, kindness shown to a stranger, serving when you are tempted to ask for service, leaving harsh or hateful words left unsaid. Each day brings an endless list of possibilities to write one true sentence or strike one true note with our lives.
Happy New Year … now go write your sentence!