Driven by angst, observer of the utmost details of life, the man drank in culpable amounts of fresh air and waxed philosophical about the necessities of human interaction. His books, they move me in their simplicity. And when I read a passage like: All my life the early sun has hurt my eyes, he thought. Yet they are still good. In the evening I can look straight into it without getting the blackness. It has more force in the evening too. But in the morning it is painful.
When I read a passage like that, and there are many, one after the other, in all of his works, I turn them on my tongue and read them twice, maybe three times, just to savor the simple profundity of his words.
Ernest Hemingway was a singularity. In Victoria this past June, I found an old careful copy of The Old Man and the Sea and I had to have it. And now, it sits beside my bed and I linger over the pages at night, just because I can, marveling at the wonder that he turned out in words.
I was a journalist and a poet simultaneously and I do believe that one informed the other. On Peg’s farm, as the chardonnay spilled over the top of the flute and softened the shaggy carpet of the farmhouse, Peg would tell me that my poems had the eye of detail because I was a journalist.
And I can only imagine that my magazine stories contained little crafted nuances hidden in the back windows of my sentences. But I have yet to be like Hemingway, though I warm to the notion and would honor that evolution.
Most days, I rise with the sun or even before it, to attend to the many tasks at hand. Inevitably, one or both of my boys careful-creep down the shadowy stairs and into my office, where they climb into my lap, sometimes both at once.
And then I am a juggler of dualities until either I am supplanted by a babysitter or the children’s father or my work makes way for a day in which I wholly notice the hot sun, the still air, the screamy-splash of children in a pool, the after-quiet of their breathing in the car.
Last week, I worked four days and spent one in the blueberry orchard. The berries were heavy on the branches, the bushes taller than all of us. We filled our buckets and paraded in the grass. This week is even better.
Life is like that, you know. It’s in the details, in the moments, that huge awareness is born, and in that swirl-wave of knowing, I step a tad higher. Have a great day.