One True Sentence, One True Note

“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.

Poppy

Happy New Year … now go write your sentence!

 

 

 

At First Glance (a resolution)

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The flotsam and jetsam of 2016 are being dragged out to sea by the last ebb tide of the year. It is a strong night tide that has cleared the beach and leveled the sand, leaving it pristine, unmarred and untouched. It awaits the dawn of the next year and fresh footprints on a new stage. In the vast continuum of time, it is just another day. There are a trail of days, behind and before, that defy our reckoning. But we have drawn a line in the sand with our calendar and tomorrow we will mark the start of a new year. It is a time, real and imagined, of new hope and new beginnings. It is a time of resolutions.


I am what they refer to as, of a certain age. Though the definition is vague, it is generally accepted to mean, no longer young.

Guilty as charged.

Being of a certain age carries with it some disadvantages. For men, it means that their hair starts to disappear from locations that are desirable and relocates to regions that are less so. In my twenties I gave no thought to my eyebrows, now they require trimming, let’s not even mention the nose and ears. It also marks the onset of what my father called the furniture disease. This is when your chest starts to settle into your drawers. But being of a certain age also brings some benefits. Most of us are finally comfortable with ourselves. We have come to accept our weaknesses and our few strengths. We realize it’s unlikely to see big swings in our temperament, personality, knowledge or wealth. In the words of the great philosopher, Popeye the sailorman, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”

Being of a certain age, I  have to guard against turning into a curmudgeon. I’m starting to see hints of that sneaking into my vocabulary. I try to catch myself before I utter phrases like, “it wasn’t like that when I was (insert age),” or, “that’s not the way it should be done.” I have also become pretty good at sizing up people with just a glance and assigning them to categories of mine own making. Continue reading “At First Glance (a resolution)”