Ticked Off at Hemingway

I have good reason to be ticked at Hemingway.

Am I in trouble?  Can I get off the top of my house now?

Am I in trouble? Can I get off the top of my house now?

Kneeling in front of the airtight last week, I caught a flash of black to my left.  Duc le Chat came out of nowhere and batted a ball towards me.  I twisted in response, reached back to the left and stretched with all my might.  Too fast.  Too far.  Too late…pop!

After treatment, the Physiotherapist told me I could not sit – only stand or lie down.  I realized I would have to write standing up.   Suddenly, I morphed into Ernest Hemingway.


However, if that booze-swilling, self-centered, cantankerous and demanding Hemingway could write standing up, I decided it was time to figure out what was so danged great about it.

I put my laptop on a stool that sits atop a decorative desk at the bay window of my living room.  This means I’ve moved from a measly peek out a door’s window to a glorious vista encompassing 180 degrees of nature.

Glorious day, don't leave me behind!  Wait for me.

Glorious day, don’t leave me behind! Wait for me.

As I write, a float plane rises over a harbour filled with brilliant sunshine.  Windows of homes perched on rocks across the harbour twinkle in response to a day that lures islanders outside to clean yards, burn debris, get in a sail and enjoy a latte alfresco.

Where’s my disciplined armour against distraction?

My neighbour, one of the members of the Grapes of Wrath, watches his clippings burn which tempts me to run out and add old branches to his fire. “You must lift nothing,” the Physio had warned.

Cloud formations, full of contrast and texture, move with meditative invitation.  I’d like to move my woodpile with as much grace and haul my airtight’s next supply to rest conveniently outside the sliding window. “Either stand or lie, no heavy anything.”

A cacophony of crows sound like politicians at a session in parliament.  I work at concentrating as I stand like Ernest Hemingway, plunking on the keys.  Then I notice my neighbour heading out for her walk.  A light goes on – no wonder Ernest faced a blank wall.

As this Life photo of Hemingway is sprinkled across the Internet with a caption that it "may" be copy written, I'll remove it  immediately if copyrights are declared.

As this Life photo of Hemingway is sprinkled across the Internet with a caption that it “may” be copy written, I’ll remove it immediately if copyrights are declared.

That insensitive, unfaithful, elusive, demand-agent likely shut out the world.  He could.  There were others who worried about life for him.

Okay, it must be obvious.   I’m avoiding disclosure of a major resentment I have toward Ernest Hemingway.  I’ll get honest…

Four years ago, a respected psychic said I incarnated very quickly.  I died in the 1920s and came into this current life in the 1940s – apparently atypically.

A tall, slim, svelte, black-haired, British beauty, I attended functions where I photographed the rich and famous in London during the early 1900s.   The psychic described my previous incarnation,   “With a drink in one hand and a long cigarette holder in another, wearing elbow-length black-satin gloves, you watched for opportunities to shoot the glories that would appeal to, and pacify, the crème de la crème of London.”

However, I began an affair with the wrong man.  I fell hopelessly in love.  His unavailability went beyond his marital status.  His imminent return to America forced me to ignore telltale signs of his over-indulgance in most pleasures.  I wanted him in my life.  I decided to express my love in writing.

I laboured over perfect wording.  After all, he was a writer.  I chose the finest paper, used a  delicately nibbed pen with azure-blue ink and emptied my heart in my best handwriting.

I was late arriving at the prescribed gathering.  Bursting with eagerness, I spotted my love across the crowded ballroom entertaining a circle of guests.  Flailing his arms and ignoring the splashes from his drink, he appeared to be telling a story.  The group looked entranced.  Suddenly they broke into laughter.  I quickly took advantage of the moment and slipped in beside him.  I thrust my letter into his hand and whispered into his ear, “This is for later, darling.”

After photographing a number of keen-to-be-seen people, I heard my lover’s voice roar above the din, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been gifted with the most astonishing news. But as most of you are bored with my words by now, let me read the ones presented to me.”

I saw him teeter as he stepped up onto a small platform.  I reached for my drink, happy to have a break from photography.

I choked as this man minced, mocked and maimed the words I’d carefully crafted – meant only for him.  Through tears, I saw a blur of faces turning my way.  I set down my drink, stubbed my cigarette, left my camera and raced for the exit.

I never took another photograph.  Instead I drank myself into an alcoholic stupor, lived in a hovel of filth and disrepair, broke out in bodily sores and died of alcoholic poisoning only months later.

“Now, Amy,” the psychic said.  “Write this story.  It will release tentacles of torture that have carried into this lifetime.”

I began to research dates, events, and people who would have been part of the rich and famous in London during that time.  My instincts told me the “writer” was Ernest Hemingway.  When I researched his life, comings and goings, marriages and travels, it seemed to fit.  I read different biographies of his life.  Descriptions of his personality and behaviour were so familiar, I felt I could have written those books.

So, Ernest Hemingway, as I grow tired, standing as I write, I want to declare before this glorious vista in my alcohol-free life, with not a whiff of cigarette smoke in my home, with my camera close by, “I forgive you.  I forgive you, I forgive you!”

“But, Ernest, please know…you’re lucky I didn’t run into you this lifetime.  I would have boxed your ears!”

“And another thing?  It’s no big deal to write standing up. Something more important happens to be the big deal.  I just might be able to declare my love to a man before this lifetime runs out.”

But can I do it this Valentine's Day?

But can I do it this Valentine’s Day?

53 thoughts on “Ticked Off at Hemingway

  1. Oh my goodness Amy, how dare you slip in that last sentence at the end of this glorious telling. Did you think we would be so mesmerized by the view outside your window, so jealous of your non-snow covered island, so blinded by all the cigarette smoke, so enervated by the thought of anyone laughing at you, in any lifetime, that we wouldn’t notice! I sit here with a big grin and a heart full of joy for you! Go for it.

  2. I’ll bet Hemingway is happy not to be here to get his ears boxed!
    You’re a better woman than I am…I pulled my back out a few weeks ago and I just didn’t write! Hope you’re feeling back to yourself in no time!

    • I pulled the big muscle that runs from top to bottom of the trunk and encases the rib cage. I ignored it for a number of days, but it became inflamed and travelled to a number of muscles. So it’s quiet time. If it was a back thing, I’d likely be like you, SuziCate.

    • Aha, you may have been a king, Charles, with a crown so laden with jewels… Don’t laugh! I love it when people discover it’s totally the opposite of what they suspect… The only thing is, during this period of horrific living that we’ve just come through, many have had at least a few torturous lives and unspeakable deaths. Ainsley MacLeod, the psychic, told us some awesome stories about people having some chronic/physical problem. Once they learned the details from a past life, they were finally relieved of the condition.

  3. Even without having had a past life with him, I’ve always disliked that macho insensitive ‘hero”… was appalled to read recently that on the way to liberate Paris from the Germans, when the approaching Allies needed information about the situation, Hemingway grabbed some wretched Frenchman and threatened to burn his toes with candles until he gave then information, before the man was rescued by real soldiers! A sadist, as your story demonstrated.
    Never liked his writing either…. as you can see – not a Hemingway fan…
    Great post Amy…Hope you’re free from the past now, and all the grief and humiliation and anger and suffering.
    Hope your back clears up soon… not getting tired standing for long might help!!!!

    • I’ve kept men like him at arm’s length, Valerie. That bravado is hiding more than I care to discover. Or want to deal with. In both men and women. Dishonesty reveals itself as they brag about being honest and believe their own blarney. Baffles me! I’ll stick with sitting by the fire discussing ways to help the world become an even better place.

    • Cleverly stated, Cin. The poor man – being whipped post-humously over his indiscretions! I was only one of a string if the biographies and my reading are valid. While he brought the whippings on himself, I cannot overlook the fact that Miss London Photographer knew he was married as she mistakenly moved to the wrong side of the lens.

  4. If you have to write standing up like Hemingway, at least you don’t have to deal with messy inked-up ribbon, sticking keys, and having to whip that carriage return back after every line you type. That would be adding insult to injury! 😉

    • I am so grateful for computers. When ribbons came in cartridges, I thought we’d hit the pinnacle. When word processing came into existence, the mother lode was surely here, but then came these fab computers and topped it all in spades. How did writers deal with typos, etc.? It’s enough to get a good piece of work out, never mind having to retype 300 words for the sake of one error on a page!

      Except for teleporting, I’ve been born at the right time!

  5. Ohhhhh…..
    Awwwwwww. 🙂

    Supposedly forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. But who cares! *laughing*
    I’m all about that last sentence and the ‘leap’ in it! Awwwwwwwww…..NOW I’m a really, really BIG mushbucket and I’m gonna haffta go hug ‘he-who’s-doing-it-all’ again!
    Poor fella’s gonna wonder what’s going on! *laughing* That’ll be GREAT fun!

    Seriously……wasn’t it just YOU the other day telling me the cat wouldn’t be able to take care of you should you injure yourself so you were going to have to be sure to take very, very good care of yourself? :-/ And then it was investigating the cat that brought this on? *laughing!!* k……I know I shouldn’t, and I know empathy is the correct response here–but…..seriously?! SERIOUSLY?!?!
    Oh you poor thing. I’m done laughing at the irony now–and I sincerely DO mean that.
    Since the circumstances THIS time ’round are pure…… I think it’d be awesomely, phenomenal to rewrite your history. Talk to your Guides. Listen…….
    Got paper and a pen? 🙂

    • Trouble with being a healthy person is the tendency to be a big worrywart when something goes wrong. I pulled the major muscle on the left side that keeps our whole truck in place and happy. Mine’s making sure it lets me know that it’s been messed with – no matter what position I take. Last night was not fun so, in the dead of night, I imagined all sorts of things. I think I re-wrote my will three times in my head.

      I finally said a prayer, “Okay all you Beloveds! Can you help me here? I don’t know why this is so painful! Please heal my body.” I sensed a response, “Well, we’re glad you finally asked for help.” Well, I thought going to a Physio was a “implied call for help”. Apparently not! Then (duh) it dawned on me to try the tapping techniques I’ve been learning. I did three rounds, the pain subsided and I fell asleep! They claim it’s miraculous…

      Today? TA-DA!!! Even with about 4 hours sleep, I feel remarkably better. (Did the tapping again – just for good measure!)

      I’ve already written this past life story, Mel, “The Last Portrait” I pulled it out of the file and re-read it last night. It’s in need of polishing – it’s not a bad read – but I ask the question, “Why would attract a person to this in the first place?” Why would someone want to read this?”

      Reincarnation? Hemingway? London Society in the 20s and 30s? I don’t have a “grab” in my head yet.

      Actually, there’s another story that falls out of this…perhaps I’ll do that next. One of the “nexts”.

      Now I’m off to catch up with you, my friend.

      • I’m very, very glad to hear that things are a bit better for you. (hopefully a whole LOT by now!) And yeah…LOL…..I hear ya on the ‘implies plea for help’. That doesn’t so much work for me either.

        But I wanna correct your understanding of the ‘rewriting history’ bit I tossed out there. While I found the previous life story interesting–it’s today’s/present life that you get to make decisions in.
        First round, that letter of how you felt didn’t play out so well.
        I was suggesting a second round–in TODAY’S life.
        But it was JUST a suggestion! And I know I’m a pushy booger–I truly don’t think we tell people ENOUGH how much they matter to us…and how our lives are affected by their presence.

        I mean–how cool would it be to write out your affections today and have them honoured–to get a chance to have that different experience!!

        JUST sayin’………
        But you know how I roll–
        Talk to your Guides–Listen…. (yes…LOL….repeating myself!)

        • Okay, Supreme Nudge Agent…I put in a call. The man is “out of range” – does that mean it’s the Guides saying back off or is the man just out of cell range?! JUST KIDDIN’ I’ll try again.

          I just need to tell him how much I respect who he is and how he lives. That’s appropriate for Valentine’s season, methinks.

  6. Vey interesting! You should write that story — It could even become a movie! Hope your back is doing better — does yoga help with the pain? Ah, and the love — hope Cupid’s arrow hits its mark for you!

    • Throughout my life, I’ve wondered how anyone could go up to a person to whom they are super attracted and say, “Hey, I’m really attracted to you.” I have confidence in so many aspects of life that it makes no sense that I freeze at the thought of doing that! I’ve proven I can deal with rejection – so it didn’t make sense. The Physic said this was likely the reason I incarnated so quickly into this lifetime – I need to heal that “wound” so I can fulfil my purpose even more.

      Yike! That’s a tall order!

  7. I loved reading this Soul. If I ever run into Hemingway, this life or the next, I’ll be sure to hold him down for you, or box his ears on your behalf. Well done! And thank you for your kind words on my writing as well.

    • Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Michael. Yes, I thoroughly appreciated your post, too! Okay…so let me know when you plan to pass
      over…we’ve got to co-ordinate this!

  8. This is an awesome tale Amy and full marks to you for telling the story so wonderfully well, complete with humour and a climax. I dare say that with suitable embellishment and a spot of mystery thrown in, it could qualify for a movie script.

    Having heard this story from the psychic and then recounting it here as suggested by her ( or was it him?), how do you feel? If this be a tongue in cheek initiative, I fully understand. But if you believe in the tale, it is another matter. Belief is a personal thing so I rather not get into aspects of what you were doing in the twenty years between death and rebirth and the very minuscule probability of your being born again in the west and as a lady!

    But be as it may, I loved the post.


  9. How do I feel? The incident of being crushed with humiliation explains the mystery of my fear of letting a man know when I am highly attracted to him. I’m relieved to know “why” but the fear still exists.

    The psychic told me about this past life three years ago. Oddly enough, once he double checked that he had the timing correct, he asked me, “Have you had some sort of problem with your skin in this lifetime?” Since we were strangers (and were on the phone) he had no idea I had been plagued with acne as a teen and younger woman. When I stopped consuming alcohol (which was like poison for me), my skin cleared up!

    I’ve had a very good life, Shakti. In all I’ve done, I’ve kept my soul’s needs uppermost. I walked away from a senior executive position in one of Canada’s most interesting and fastest growing financial institutions. I saw myself as a pawn in a position dedicated to one thing: making more money for shareholders. I knew I needed to see and feel a more significant purpose to my work.

    The men who have been dear to me are all men of soul. They have been great teachers. However, my focus has not been on a role typically expected of women. My husband was most accepting, but as we each pursued our careers, in two different locations, we drifted more and more until we separated.

    Now? If the shy man who’s had my respect and admiration since his sister introduced us – nearly 20 years ago – reached for my hand and told me he felt the same way, I wonder, at this stage of my life, how easy it would be to stay on course with my life’s purpose! Who knows? When the Universe gives a green light, it’s often done with more creative resolution than I could ever conjure!

  10. Loved this blog, fascinating. I am sorry about your back and I immediately wondered if you were ok to lift the logs to keep the fire going. Then you had to tease us with the last line.

  11. Sorry about your back, Amy.

    If Hemingway were here, I have a feeling he would make it feel better w/ his magical- literary-man hands.

    You know, he loOOOved women.

    Oh, I forgot, you want to kick his ass…

    Perhaps in real life, he needed a woman like you!

    Xxx Love.

    • A shiver went up my back when I read your second sentence, Kim! Yah, I’d kick butt THEN ask for a massage! Ya just have to be Queen with some men…princess won’t do! And we hafta know the difference! 😀

  12. Oh my, oh my, oh my! This one covers a LOT of territory! Now I can’t wait to find out what news your post-VD entries will contain. 😉 My best friend, a writer of great talent albeit no fame, also writes standing up due to back issues. Her husband built her a lovely podium-like thing on top of her desk that is just the right height for her. So, now that you’ve purged that old cad, Hemingway, from your psyche, perhaps your inspiration will blossom, along with, well, whatever else is in the air. (Not that your writing needs any particular pollen. It’s lovely just as it is.)

    • It’s a different feeling. I don’t know how much of the difference is surroundings, new disciplines and physical adjusting – or if it truly has affected the creative process. Change has been a friend throughout my life. I like changing routine so I don’t fall into my own grave!

      However, Linda, I’m shy. Don’t be watching for anything big after VD, as you say. Doesn’t that stand for some disease??!! 😀

      • I always thought that abbreviation was rather ironic! Shy is ok. Perhaps it’s also mixed with prudence….I don’t mean prudishness. Goodness, I wonder if those two words come from the same root!

  13. Amy, you are ever amazing. And always that edge of humor to your stories! I’ve always taken ‘past life’ with a certain grain of salt, due to my training in Jungian psychology and the archetypes and my own vision since birth. I wonder sometimes if what we’re experiencing is layered into layers that kaleidoscope forward and back – and what we hold in the present is simply an illusion we all agree to somehow. Isn’t existence a miracle? I love the possibilities.

    • Yes, Bela, existence is so much fun – to live and learn more about! Have you studied A Course in Miracles? Though it was quite a number of years ago that I studied the material, I remember claims that may parallel the illusion you describe.

      In various paths, time does not exist. One I studied claimed we have an oversoul and all the incarnations are happening at the same time. The purpose? To experience feelings & growth and discover who we are so it can all be fed and integrated into the Oversoul which is (sort of) the key link to Source.

      Would I love to go on a good hike with you and swap possibilities, Bela!

      • I’d totally be into the hike, Amy 😉
        I bought a copy of Course in Miracles at a used bookstore years ago, but never actually read it. It seemed redundant to what I’d already experienced as well as read through other mediums, other sources. I certainly had clients who loved it over the years and shared with me as well.
        I’ve also heard of the concept of the Oversoul. Most of my research has been through interviewing people on the radio after I read their books, sent to me by publishers. 9 years of that and I’d amassed quite a collection of knowledge, sources and perspectives.
        That being said, I was born open, and have been blessed to glimpse, from time to time, the nature of many realities, seemingly existing simultaneously, yes. I once had the desire or impulse to capture this information and harness it into a book or six, but years go by and I glimpse different expressions of the same origins, the same concepts or ideas. It has led me to believe all knowledge is only cursory and yet full at the same time. It is beyond presumptuous to suppose I could harness part of that and call it The Truth. And so I simply enjoy living, and the incredible Magic that enters my awareness, unbidden, from time to time.
        Blessings, dear.

        • Bela, you certainly are an effective communicator. During my years of seeking, my poor mother listened to (suffered through) each of my discoveries. She’d say something like, “You are a great stew. Keep adding ingredients and let it simmer.” My simmering has shown me that the more I learn, the less I know. Such an ancient and simple truth; such a significant insight.

          My truth continuously evolves and I want that to continue. Thankfully, I didn’t stick with only the ingredients that others gave me. I’m glad I’ve dug around and discovered. I have to pay attention to the times when I feel my truth being challenged. One of my mentors told me, “If it is your truth, what is there to defend? Just live it.” This has helped me accept others – I don’t have to judge their belief system.

          On a lighter side, Popeye knew: “It is what it is.”

          • Yes, there’s always that fine line of complicit agreement, should we not ‘defend our position.’ I know that one well. Yet that very knowing used to get me into contentious dialogue where the only thing that was accomplished was posturing – albeit for me, the feminine form that takes. Justified self righteousness was such a temptation.

            You had an amazing mom! My mother, upon hearing most anything I had to say when it came to independent thought, would tell me she was concerned for my sanity. Fear is a strange bedfellow.

            Blessings on the day, dear Amy!

    • I learned there were quite a few famous people who wrote at stand-up desks:

      Benjamin Franklin
      Donald Rumsfeld
      Ernest Hemingway
      Leonardo da Vinci
      Thomas Jefferson
      Vladimir Nabokov
      Winston Churchill
      According to: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-benefits-stand-desk-work-624355.html?cat=5

      “Ergonomic experts analyze the way we work, and how we can do so more effectively and with less stress. It turns out that the stand-up desks of history are extremely good for reducing injury. Standing doesn’t allow the leaning and slouching that is possible in a seated position, your back and neck remain straighter, and a properly positioned monitor allows users to look straight ahead, minimizing neck movement and strain.”

  14. oh my goodness what a fascinating, sad story Amy. Hemingway was a bloody fool! Do you know what you wrote on the note? You’re a very brave soul to share your past life story here on your blog … Has the writing helped?

    When you first held a camera in this life did you feel comfortable with taking photos and just know how to use it?

    I didn’t know Hemingway wrote standing. That’s amazing that you are now standing at your keyboard…

    • When I bought a camera (first one of my own) a few years ago and signed up for a course, the instructor said, “You certainly are not frightened of that camera, are you?” I am very frustrated with myself, however, because I’m dyslexic and the settings simply throw me into apoplexy. Some are in a reverse relationship, some direct and it seems I can only confuse it all. I have to use certain settings and play within them. If I was going to study photography more, it would be portraiture. I adore Karsh’s work.

      Yes, writing the story was good. The research was way more fun than I thought it would be. I asked my guides for (my name) the name of this photographer in London during those years. They gave me a first and last name with a very explicit highlight to note the extra “d” in the last name. Without the “d”, there’s an excellent photographer of the same name in New York right now. I certainly had never heard of her – and still wouldn’t know about her if it wasn’t for the research.

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