Pic of the Day, part i: Whistlejacket by George Stubbs (1760)
Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.
Ernest Hemingway, Selected Letters, 1917-1961
Not slow, not fast. Just moving.
Not dumb, not smart. Just thinking.
Not bad, not good. Just moral.
Not lazy, not active. Just doing.
Not weak, not strong. Just being.
Not calm, not excited. Just feeling.
Not afraid, not fearless. Just ready.
This is what life is about. Anything else is surplus, and unnecessary.
I helped my mother move some stuff around her house for a few minutes after work, and it took long enough where it kept me from running. I don’t mind overmuch. Yesterday was 6 months to the day since my father died, and I wasn’t able to be around yesterday for her. I called her to at least try to talk to her, to be there for her in some way, but she did not answer. I found out later she was out, others knowing what day it was made sure she was out of the house and not alone.
She alluded to it, the 6 month anniversary of his passing, but never mentioned it out loud when I was there today. I could not bring myself to talk about it at all. Not in front of her. I don’t know why I could not. I want everything to be alright, but there is really no way for there to be. The dead are gone and cannot be brought back to life, and the only thing that would make her feel better would be to have her husband back.
That I cannot do.
So I sat mute and dumb, unable to speak. Death is unfair to everyone, life is never long enough for those we love, and when we lose those we love the pain is terrible. All I want to do is ease that pain, her pain, my brothers pain, everyone’s pain.
And yet I sat mute and dumb, unable to speak. Words will come. They always do. The harder it is for them to come out now, the more words will come out later. It bothers me that there were none today. That is wrong, one should always at least have something ready, some response to the pain the world gives. To not have one was wrong of me.
After sitting for a minute trying to find words, I hid in the work that had to be done. The job was done quicker than was expected, and was done well. We smiled about getting the job done, about getting everything hooked up that needed to be hooked up. Spoke about one or two other things. Joked, laughed, smiled, lived. Then we went our separate ways.
Pic of the day, part ii: The Fighting Stallions (1791)
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
That’s it from here, America. G’night.