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In Which I Summarize Myself

Continuing the experiment brought about by the Art of Manliness, today is Day 2:

Continuing to work within that idea of constraints, try to write a 6-word memoir of your life so far. This idea is rumored to have originated from Papa Hemingway. The benefit is that with only six words, you really have to filter your life to what you deem most important. It may take you many iterations, but you’ll end up with something that speaks largely to who you are, if not in toto, then at least in this moment in time.

I feel I must apologize to Brett and Kay if posting the content of each day is abusive of their copyright. I'm not stealing their idea, and backlinking and trying to be a good denizen.

The Six-word thing is a thing, apparently, and in my more flippant and depressive moods, the first draft I would post is:

Failed at this. Failed at that.

This is very cynical and it reveals my darker side. One day, according to my mother, I was a bright happy laughing child and then I put a paper bag over my head and said no one would ever have to look at me again because I was so rotten. A switch was flipped. No one knows why. I could make guesses, but there is also a part of me that thinks that searching for the cause is in some way simplifying and laying blame. Maybe nothing happened externally. Maybe my brain just broke.

And maybe the government knew how damn smart I am and found a way to turn this off. As my aunt said upon meeting me as an infant, they'll either hang me or make me president. Now that's fancy.

It occurs to me that I may already have my six words, and they are positive words. They are the subtitles I have used for various blogs and web sites. (My current web site is down, and when I go exploring the files, there are six or seven different designs of my site still hanging around.)

My current tagline is "There's an ology for that" which is fun but out of focus. I'm not discovering new -ologies which was really about wordplay.

Two recent taglines were "An artist in search of a muse and a medium" and "A polymath in pursuit of publication." Both of these point to my lack of focus. If I didn't love video games so much, I could probably be like Leonardo da Vinci, instead of the watered down version of the ever curious encyclopedia experimenter I've turned out to be.

Somewhere in the archives is a description I used for places that required biographies: "I write. I pontificate. I play guitar." I could cut that down to four words and be done, too. The constraint of this exercise is to use exactly six words. There is something self-depreciating about the word "pontificate," too. I realize that. I suffer from a victim mentality and expect to be picked on and abused and insulted. One of my early defense mechanisms was to insult myself before anyone else could get in the first shot. Disarming detractors didn't work, but the habit stuck around.

I also described myself as "a simple guy with simple pleasures" and that is the height of conceit. I am not a simple person.

So I think I will fall back on the one thing that works best to describe me: Artist searches for muse and medium.

The things I do, I think I do as an artist. I failed "real" art in college, as I cannot draw. I am not a visual artist by any means. I think I have an art with words, and math, and I enjoy playing the guitar (limiting myself to the works of Mateo Carcassi) and I have picked up paper engineering again. It's all art to me. I would even go so far as to say my political activity is an art of justice, and despite my self-loathing, I have always been concerned with justice.

So this is my life: Artist searches for muse and medium.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:47 am (UTC)

Regarding the jist and grist of your post John, perhaps we are related... not in the natural sense, as in family, but in a more esoteric, cryptic, Antonio Salieri manner.

My six words?

From birth to Seventy... Result? Mediocritist!

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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