Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sun Also Rises

Just home from the Florida coast where I saw the sun come up. Which got me to thinking, when was the last time I watched the sun come up? Hmm... Guess I'm more of a The Sun Mostly Sets kinda girl.

The highlight of the trip was an unplanned excursion to Key West and the Hemingway Home and Museum. To be honest, I was lured in by the ridiculous number of cats I saw through the fence. Fueled by a strawberry daiquiri and a mango margarita I was overcome with a deep desire to pet them all.

But then I was surprised at how much impact and inspiration the house had on me, less because of the books and belongings in it and more because I learned a lot about the man. Hemingway has a terrific life story, full of great and perilous adventures, famous writerly and artistic friends, multiple wives and unfortunate injuries.

The stuff great stories are made of.

Later that night on a barstool I was chatting with a fishing boat captain (seafarers love me, apparently), a couple from Rhode Island and a plastic surgeon from Boston about the novella The Old Man and the Sea. The woman from Rhode Island hated it.

It's been ten years or better since I read it, but I remember loving it and thinking in spite of everything it was more a book about triumph rather than defeat, even though the only image I could conjure from the story was that of the old man coming back with the giant marlin skeleton, evidence of his luck and subsequent misfortune at sea.

I thought about reading it again to see if I'd have the same perspective but I'm not going to. I don't want to ruin it. I was a lot smarter back then; god knows how I could screw up that novel by reading it now.

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