The Last Sentence in a Note

The note is consequential, not tremendously important, but at least relevant. The note was written for a reason, and it met all of the requirements. Except for the last sentence.

I have a friend who specializes in the twist of the last sentence. I need more instruction from her, but so far it appears to follow a pattern. Write a note that responds to my note, give responses to the salient points to show that you are tracking, add a few personal references to show that you are not a robot or clever app. Then, at the very last, add a sentence about something intriguing, something that you would really rather write about, but haven’t quite worked out how to introduce it. It’s masterful!

This last sentence in a note was…

“In the meantime check out Alice Neel’s brilliant exhibition at the met.”

Okay, I’m assuming “the Met” is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. And Alice Neel had an exhibition there. Hmm, so who is Alice Neel? If she was an unknown my friend would have added a short description. She didn’t. Alice Neel is a person that she assumed that I’ve known, or that I should have known. But I’m totally clueless… writer, poet, artist, sculptor painter, dead or alive. Never heard of her.

This is the “tipping point”. Do I follow up with a quick Google search, then be able to return a pithy statement on a return note? Or do I shelve it in the mental drawer of “things that I’ll get to someday”? The third possibility is that it will be a crack in my “wall of known things”. Whenever that happens I’m thrilled but also sad, because I always feel that it would have been better to know this 10, 20, 40 years ago.

Alice Neel, 1900-1984, American portrait painter.

I spent the next three days finding everything she had drawn or painted, and she painted every day of her life. It was a lot of stuff. But she found her niche quite early and found that portraits was her thing. I really loved them.

So I began to redraw the ones I liked best. I wanted to experience her creation. Thank you June, for your last sentence

Tribute to Alice Neel, Helen Merrell Lynd, 1969
Tribute to Alice Neel, The Soyer Brothers , 1973
Tribute to Alice Neel, Roberta Johnson Roensch. 1946
Tribute to Alice Neel, Abdul Rahman, 1964.
Tribute to Alice Neel, Josephine Garwood, 1946
Tribute to Alice Neel, Unknown
Alice Neel

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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