Saddest jobs and first lines

I had a thought earlier I wanted to share with you tonight. A thought that crossed my mind and made me sit up and take notice.

Surprisingly it was that scientists studying the universe possibly have one of the least rewarding jobs.

As a nurse of 5 decades or so, I often thought of those who could for instance work with sick children and the pain and loss that would entail at times. The same with any of the specialty fields I guess. Then I came to realize the hardest place to work would be Long Term Care, because there is only one way any of those folk would leave, and given the age and fragility of them, the staff would find themselves in a constant low grade grieving. Does that make sense?

Then I was reading on my news feed something about spectacular new things and new questions arising about our universe, made possible by advancing equipment (in part) such as James Webb Space Telescope. And it dawned on me that scientists may actually feel sadness in their professions, I mean, everything starts with an hypothesis of some sort or another. Only time and scientific advances prove or disprove their theories. And it won’t happen in their lifetime. Where is the reward? And I assume every theory is countered by some opposing theory? Any way, it struck me odd and perhaps a little sad. So my question is the same as above – does that make sense?

On the upbeat, tonight when JB and I had our FaceTime she was quite excited about her writing- having done a different approach to her story. And it is gripping. An exciting beginning.

That turned our discussion to great first lines in literature. Below is a bit of an excerpt from a BridgesBurning blog 11 years ago.

One of my addictions from about twenty odd years ago is Dean Koontz. The book tonight is a fav and it was published way back in ’88 called Lightning.
This book not for it’s first line but for the gripping tale he tells. Good suspense although the first line is pretty good.

I mention first lines because I am a sucker for them. Charles Dickens, my absolute hero was best at it. Who could forget the first line in …A Tale of Two Cities….”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch …”

Of course that story also had the most memorable last line also…”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a …”

But for me and Mr. Koontz possibly, the best first line was in a book called Winter Moon and the line is… “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus.”

In my dreams that’s the way I want to start a book. With a line so gripping you have no choice but to dive in filled with excitement and anticipation. (Anticipation is another addiction). sigh…soon I will have no secrets from you!

Oh and just for your information I do tend to fall for any good line – but that would be another blog!

Any favorite line out there you would like to share?

So those are the airy thoughts from North of 43 on this spring night.

Chris G May 21, ’22

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One is about 43 degrees latitude N. and longitude 80 W, The other almost equidistant south latitude and longitude 174 E. Two women, two minds, different personalities and experiences, choosing a life of meaning, continual growth and learning, at the same time negating ageist opinions of exactly what ‘an old lady’ should be.

15 thoughts on “Saddest jobs and first lines”

  1. As I told you in our chat, I am currently reading The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. Chapter 1 opens “I was not a soldier yet. We were not at war yet. I could not conceive of taking a life yet. I was just a mother, twenty-one and terrified.” Who could turn away from that book then?

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  2. A friend’s daughter worked as a nurse in palliative care for terminally ill children. I can’t imagine. With the elderly, they have had a good long life and need to be made as comfortable as possible in their last years but for children, it would be so sad knowing they wouldn’t have a chance to grow up and follow their dreams.

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  3. I love good first lines, and keep a little collection of them. Here are a few:
    “I wasn’t really prepared for the World’s Fair last week, and it certainly wasn’t prepared for me.” -E.B.White
    “On an afternoon in the spring of 1938, foreseeing a change in my life, I rode the subway down to Cortlandt Street, visited Peter Henderson’s seed store, and came away with a mixed order of flower and vegetable seeds.” -E.B.White
    “Those of us who are not overly familiar with the nuances of Ugaritic, Luvian, Hittite, Mesopotamian cuneiform, Palaic, or Creto-Mycenaean Linear B, do know a little something, nevertheless, about the Rosetta stone!” -Evan S. Connell
    “The clerk of the court took a good look at the tall brown-skinned woman with the head rag on.” -Zora Neale Hurston
    “On a cool October day in the oak-forested hills of Lorestan Province in Iran, a lost child was saved in an inconceivable way.” -Barbara Kingsolver
    “Here’s a secret you should know about mothers: We spy.” -Barbara Kingsolver

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