One True Line

eric mccarty
2 min readAug 1, 2022
One True Line — Headless Now — Inspiration — Prose Poetry — Moca McCarty Photo

One true line:

within everything I write there is an essence, a one true line or phrase of inspiration waiting to be revealed through the craft of writing. Perhaps this is so for every artwork, a singular brushstroke that ties an entire painting to a complete show of beauty, a perfectly cast piece of clay lasting only for a moment and now the entire work revolves around that instant — intuitively an artist knows when this happens, feels to deep to bones and further still as the soul responds with joy. What an artist doesn’t know is when this magic might happened, which line might reveal itself as pure and true, gifted so clearly from the muse.

it seems the secret is not to pursue those moments, they must be allowed to find an artist unprepared for their arrival, shocked that such a thing of grace and insight truly exist, and now an entire structure of their medium is rearranged to support this inspiration. Writing is always a surprise for me, seldom do I have a finished planned and most often even the next line is a mystery shown only as I’m writing. My wish is to remain open to the exact point of change that mystery takes me, holding on to nothing that was written before and simply give myself completely to the present word alone. There is one true line to be revealed and I will know it just as it is being written, not the slimmest moment before, but only as it pours from my fingers to the keyboard, shown as my delight and surprise.

everything else is written to support this.

and now those supporting words take on a great importance, meant to clarify the essence of that one true line, not to highlight but to support in more subtle ways, blending, lending themselves towards a rich conclusion. I’ve often wondered what great works might have been based upon a phrase that held the entire meaning of a book, poem, or play. Or perhaps Leonardo da Vinci painted the entire Mona Lisa around the framework of her smile, or Shakespeare held one true line from Hamlet as a vision for its completion. That’s the mystery, and of course we’re not meant to know the answer — our role is to wait for our own one true line to be revealed, gifted to us from the muse, and then to create an entire work, a life really, based upon this inspiration.

one true line is all that’s needed.


Peace, Eric

eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student