I was talking to a friend the other day, and she express concern that I wouldn’t be able to return to a place because of the bad memories it held. I assured her that I had already returned – in fact, spent the summer there – and it had been just fine.
And it made me think about perspective. The simple phrase, “I spent the summer there,” served to advance the conversation. She understood the obstacles had been surmounted, and we changed the subject.
But how amazing that I encompassed two months of my life in five words. All of the events, the laugher, the tears, the time spent living each day sunrise to sunset, summed up with one phrase. I have a hundred memories of that time – but I could sum them up with five words.
When an author is trying to sell a book, they have to write a pitch – usually about 250 words, or 30 seconds of speaking – something that tells the listener enough about the book that they want to read/buy/publish it. Think the blurb on the back of a book. It’s sometimes harder than writing the book itself, trying to winnow 90,000 words into 250.
Maybe it’s the same with that simple sentence. Had I added another word – “I spent an amazing/horrible/interminable summer there” – the image would change. But the result is the same: time passed. Regardless of how much I crammed into that summer, it can still be summed up with one phrase.
Maybe a good goal would be to create a life so full, it CANNOT be summed up that easily? Maybe my goal would be that when someone tried to explain a period of my life they would stop, unable to form appropriate words.
Hmmm…I think that already happens! 🙂
Anyway, it’s all about perspective. Something to keep in mind when we’re tempted to dismiss something or someone that appears shallow, simple. Delve a little deeper – everything has a story. The simplest things might turn out to be the most complex…