By Stan Friedman
CHICAGO, IL (May 27, 2014) — Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was asked to write an entire story in six words. He responded, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
In 2006, the online magazine SMITH was inspired by that legend to invite readers to share their memoirs—in six words. Since then almost 800,000 people have submitted their stories, and the number grows daily. The magazine’s website notes, “In classrooms and boardrooms, churches and synagogues, veterans’ groups and across the dinner table, Six-Word Memoirs have become a powerful tool to catalyze conversation, spark imagination, or break the ice.”
The early Covenanters used to invite each other to tell their stories when they asked, “How goes your walk?” The question was not an interrogation but an invitation. In the telling and listening, community was formed and deepened.
The church marks the beginning of its community at Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples. This year the church celebrates that event on June 8.
In preparation, we invite you to share your memoirs in six-word stories on the Covenant’s Facebook page. Focus on an overarching story, an aspect of your life, or just a moment in time. Get creative and submit more than one!
To read more about Six-Word Memoirs, read and listen to this NPR story.
Here are some samples from the Six-Word Memoir site:
Born nouns: we add the adjectives.
Malice doesn’t live here anymore.
Hoping Mother Nature distracts Father Time
And I’ll “break the ice” with two:
Knew everything, wised up, sort of
Quarks and quasars keep me wondering