Don’t Think About It–Just Live


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Don’t Think About It - Just Live
 
Ernest Hemingway is one of my heroes, but perhaps not in the manner some might expect.
 
Certainly, some of his actions were crude and sexist. He tended to brag and boast. And he shot animals for trophies.
 
Hidden beneath his exterior, however, lived a man who knew the way things “ought to be,” even if he could not achieve his own dreams. He knew his limitations, and though he never admitted it publicly, his writings revealed his knowledge. He was a stealth philosopher, who understood grace under pressure.
 
In his famous memoir, A Moveable Feast, he penned a sketch about his friend, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and in doing so taught all of us a lesson in life, even if he failed to listen to his own wisdom. Of Fitzgerald (and many of us), he said:
 
“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly anymore because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.”
 


Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Miranda: Yes. I think about it often.

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  2. I thought of you when I saw "Midnight in Paris." Have you seen it?

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    Replies
    1. Manzi: I have not, but I definitely will. Everyone who has seen it loved it.

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  3. That is beautiful, sad, and so horribly true. I never thought about our limitations in just that way. However, that is exactly right. That is precisely how a person becomes limited. Hemingway painted the picture perfectly.

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    1. Robin: Next time I see you in person, ask me about teaching with the rubber ball. I take Hemingway's words seriously, and often adapt them to my life..

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  4. Excellent point. It reminds me of the time my husband bought a Hovercraft and when he brought it home he handed me the manual and said read all of it. I did every word- and it took me a few years to overcome what I read and finally enjoy them! It's quite a sight to be out on the ice and come to open water and just hover on over!

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  5. Profoundly sad and beautiful....

    Thanks for sharing this with us JJ.

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    1. Michael: Yes, it is. It is so true of many people.

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  6. I agree with Michael. It's a shame that Hemingway never found what he was truly looking for.
    Julie

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    1. Julie: The man did have a few issues, brilliant as he was as a writer.

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  7. Replies
    1. Alex: Or at least just not to overthink everything.

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  8. Ah yes, this is the catch in all of life isn't it?

    How do we fulfill our true potential and enjoy the fruits of clean and honest labors and yet not get caught up in the details so much that we lose the joy of what we are meant to be?

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    1. Jasmine: I fortunately learned that long ago, so I was able to do so many things in my lifetime. Not everything worked out perfectly, but I was there, when many stayed home.

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  9. Many a creative mind have had their fair share of 'issues'. He may not have achieved what he dreamed of but he most certainly lit a fire in the belly of many others along the way by the sounds of it, especially yours JJ. I think it's about time I officially introduced myself to Hemingway, I have never read any of his books. Can you recommend one with which to start?

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