Daily prompt: Your guess is as good as mine

Daily Prompt
Flash Talk
You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

You really, really don’t want to know that. And I have no intention of telling you, because I wouldn’t know where to start. And I really, really wouldn’t want to if I did.

To begin with, wild horses wouldn’t drag into a roomful of strangers expecting a four-minute expose of MOI. A roomful of strangers per se would require a couple of well-trained draught horses. Strangers with expectations? Forget it!

As for the four-minute thing… Dear WordPress, can you really expect someone as fascinating, multi-faceted, extraordinarily gifted and widely experienced as I, to condense all that glorious complexity into a mere four minutes? Hours, I’d need. Hours, my friends, to detail the glittering minutiae that might even begin to explain the person I really am. If I knew. Because every one of the 26,018 days I have lived (plus a few extra for leap years) has contributed its own grain of sand to this dazzling whole you see before you (separated, fortunately, by computer screens and godnose how much technological wizardry).

In other words, I am dead ordinary, but even so, every one of us is so much the sum total of our experience that no one story can possibly encapsulate our essential self. We are different things to different people, on different days, in different environments. We change as we grow up, grow old, grow disillusioned, revitalised, more confident, shattered, relocated, remarried, decluttered… You want me to go on? I have been at least ten different people in my life, without even thinking about it. So now I’m going to bed, to sleep, to be reborn again tomorrow…

Think on’t.


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20 Responses to Daily prompt: Your guess is as good as mine

  1. You see? THIS is why I enjoy your writing. Bravo.

  2. loupmojo says:

    I like the idea of being reborn each morning. Excellent 🙂

  3. Fabulous! You fascinating, multi-faceted, extraordinarily gifted and widely experienced person, you!

  4. elainecanham says:

    That would do it, Helen, and in well under four minutes!

  5. Helen,
    We are alike in so many ways. The the 4 minute resume of a life is an impossibility. I just condensed my ordinary story into a book, “How I Managed NOT To Become Famous” about to be released on Amazon and print. Though long for a comment, I’ve copied the FORE WORD, which I think appropriate for all of us “ordinary” people, who have for those close to us may add the prefix “extra.”
    Fore Word
    This book is about how, through trial and error over many years, I have been able to turn an ordinary life into an even more ordinary life. Because we’re probably pretty much alike, it might be an inspiration to you. In most chapters, it will make you laugh. A few items might make you think – but not very hard.
    Don’t get me wrong this early in the book – every life is extra-ordinary, including yours and mine. We are all unique. It’s the “extra” part only those closest to us become aware of – which leaves “ordinary.”
    Except for the time you were the world’s cutest baby, most of us are stuck with not becoming famous and live out our days that way. A few of us become “infamous” but that’s another life entirely. It’s not one I aspire to (or should that be: “not one to which I aspire.”)
    Like you, if you are still 20-something, I pictured myself riding the crest to notoriety. ‘Riding the crest’ is a great goal at that age and a pretty fair objective if you’re still able to ride a surfboard at any age. ‘Multi-millionaire by age 30’ may be a goal and a legitimate one in some fields such as basketball, football, baseball, golf, tennis or other pornographic careers.
    But for most, that kind of talent passed us by, even if we had a good, solid education – or in the more athletic of those occupations, as little education as possible. (Or should that be ‘morals?’)
    For a surf-boarder, the opposite of riding the crest is riding the trough – sitting looking over our shoulders for the BIG ONE, for which we can paddle forward furiously and catch just before the tide begins to break.
    The old saying, “Time and tide wait for no man,” is also as important to fishermen as to surf- boarders. When the tide turns or for hopeful Izaak Waltons, it’s the best time to bait up and hope for the BIG ONE.
    To help those of us who have given up the more athletic preoccupations and settled for fishing, there are Tide Charts printed daily in most seaside areas. Somehow, that perfect ‘catch the crest’ or landing a whopper never happened and I became proficient at riding the trough. All in all, it has been a comfortable place, floating quietly looking over my shoulder until I now have more wrinkles than most prunes. (Could I have just picked up the wrong Tide Chart?)
    I have divided this book into sections and the chapters, which may be loosely thought of as ‘Essay / Memoirs assuming ‘loosely’ is one of your strong points. They may strike a responsive chord with your own life – probably a little off key since, despite plenty of practice, I never made it to Carnegie Hall either. (Could I have taken the wrong subway?)
    At any rate, depending on your level of incompetence, you might see yourself in some of what I write. But that’s your problem. Mine is maintaining my own level of incompetence, which if I read The Peter Principle correctly, I was able to achieve while still a young man. From then on, I was able to complete a series of ‘lateral arabesques’ as the author Lawrence Peter called them, which has left me at age 83 approximately where I started.
    By the way, the true meaning of ‘Fore Word’ won’t come to you until you reach the end of this book. So do your best to get through it without either splitting your pants with laughter or blowing a gasket with angst!

  6. Martha Kennedy says:

    Yeah, you and I are in a TIE for dead ordinary. 🙂

  7. New website:www.MyWorldDickHarrison and Newsletter for writers, artists and others – ordinary and extraordinary.

  8. Wendy says:

    Absolutely Love that last paragraph. Absolutely, “every one of us is so much the sum total of our experience that no one story can possibly encapsulate our essential self” But, still, we call ourselves ‘ordinary’. I so enjoy your style that I am off to put your e-book onto my ipad.

  9. bkpyett says:

    Great writing and certainly nothing ordinary about you!

  10. How have I missed so many of your posts? I don’t see them in the queue. Well, I’m catching up now and enjoying every word.

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