One True Sentence - Hemingway's Advice

5 years ago

ernest hemingway, hemingway, one true sentence, writing how to, writing tips

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." - Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast."

This used to be the quote that was the background of my computer and one that has caused me much angst over the last few years.

One. True. Sentence.

In amongst the life that I had managed to find myself in, I was desperately searching, because dear God, I wanted to be able to find that sentence, that one truth, that one thought in amongst children, living, and the depth of my souls aching.

Today, it's just me and two of the children hanging around home, the school holidays soon to come to a close. I'm starting another new job on Monday - that's three I'm now holding onto - and they'll be back at school, and life will be back on its merry path of busyness and timetables and structures. In fact, with this new job I'll not only be working from home, but having to go in there. You know, like a proper grown up. Heels and all.

And yet, when I sat down at my journal, I had to contemplate me and my life and my one, true, sentence.

I've already told you that earlier this year I was on my hands and knees sobbing, praying to the elusive god, (God), and the next day words were out of my mouth and my life was changing faster than I could comprehend. I'm not going to get into that now. I will, when I can fully process and face myself, but not yet, ok? BUT what I do know, is that like every spiritual book I have ever read, something miraculous, something magical entered my life. All because of one true sentence.

My true sentence was mine, yours will be your own, but it has made me think of the lies we hide behind, even when we don't know that they exist. How oxymoronic. How can one live a lie without knowing a lie exists? Because we can. There was a constant sense of unease about my life and I never truly felt safe.

But let's be clear, that when you speak your one true sentence aloud, it doesn't mean that suddenly life turns its golden light your way. In fact, speaking up and living truth means finding yourself on a path where the ground feels like quicksand, threatening to swallow you whole, and you sit outside yourself in kaleidescopic reality, grabbing onto your friends to make you feel real, to feel normal.

Many times this year I've wondered: Fuck me, have I finally gone crazy?

And yet. And yet. And yet, when I opened up my heart to the world and to life and its depths of experience, it's as if the whole Universe (god, God, Goddess) opened up their arms, put me in them and said, "Hey, it's ok. You're ok."

So, trusting in this, means that I have to look deep within my soul and examine what it is I want from my life - where I'm going and who I'm going there with. And it's no small journey, right?

My first goal is that I want to come back out of my head and come down to my heart. I cannot tell you the hours I've spent staring out the window at the jacaranda tree on my lawn and my thoughts run away with themselves, until I'm left wanting, panting, desperate to feel part of the world again. Anxiety permeates my breath, so badly that at times I have to make a mad dash home, unable to cope with simple activities such as going to the gym. One day last week, I literally had to walk out of there in a panic.

So, as I sat here this morning and considered where to from here, that was my number one goal. And, for me that's a spiritual and writing path. But I've also got to make a living, right? Well, I'm going to let go of any expectation that this blog is anything other than my random, truthful, rants, fears, joys, experiences, thoughts, hopes, dreams and come what may from it. I do have some plans for how I'm going to go about my journey, I've gone to the library this morning, got out a few books, and I'm looking forward to sharing my journey to truth - my truth - with anyone who cares to participate. But it's a journey I must start on, surely that we all must start on one day, or another.

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