"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

24 February 2011


From Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River, Part I" ...

He watched them holding themselves with their noses into the current, many trout in deep, fast moving water, slightly distorted as he watched far down through the glassy convex surface of the pool its surface pushing and swelling smooth against the resistance of the log-driven piles of the bridge. At the bottom of the pool were the big trout. Nick did not see them at first. Then he saw them at the bottom of the pool, big trout looking to hold themselves on the gravel bottom in a varying mist of gravel and sand, raised in spurts by the current.

Nick looked down into the pool from the bridge. It was a hot day. A kingfisher flew up the stream. It was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout. They were very satisfactory. As the shadow of the kingfisher moved up the stream, a big trout shot upstream in a long angle, only his shadow marking the angle, then lost his shadow as he came through the surface of the water, caught the sun, and then, as he went back into the stream under the surface, his shadow seemed to float down the stream with the current unresisting, to his post under the bridge where he tightened facing up into the current.

Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. He turned and looked down the stream. It stretched away, pebbly-bottomed with shallows and big boulders and a deep pool as it curved away around the foot of a bluff.

Nick walked back up the ties to where his pack lay in the cinders beside the railway track. He was happy. He adjusted the pack harness around the bundle, pulling straps tight, slung the pack on his back got his arms through the shoulder straps and took some of the pull off his shoulders by leaning his forehead against the wide band of the tump-line. Still, it was too heavy. It was much too heavy. He had his leather rod-case in his hand and leaning forward to keep the weight of the pack high on his shoulders he walked along the road that paralleled the railway track, leaving the burned town behind in the heat, and he turned off around a hill with a high, fire-scarred hill on either side onto a road that went back into the country. He walked along the road feeling the ache from the pull of the heavy pack. The road climbed steadily. It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him.

Read the rest here.

I received a marvelous birthday gift from my parents last year ... Picturing Hemingway's Michigan. It is a pictorial history of the Ernesto's early years in The Great Northwoods of Michigan.

Hemingway’s life of hunting, fishing and writing, and travel from Europe to Africa and Cuba shows that Hemingway was a restless soul, seeming to be always searching for something.

“I think in some ways he was looking for something in Michigan,” (Picturing Hemingway's Michigan author, Michael) Federspiel said. It provided an inspiration for his life that his hometown of Oak Park couldn’t.

“In some ways, I think, fame corrupted him,” Federspiel said. “He lost the better person that he might have been in Michigan.” The boy and young adult hanging out with friends in the woods, lakes and streams, “To my mind that’s the most likable person... from there he gets a little more boastful and callous in a lot of ways.”

Maybe what Hemingway found in Michigan — and then lost — was a sense of peace. “You get up here and it’s just quiet. It lends itself to solitude and reflection,” Federspiel said.

Read the rest here.

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