One day, very soon, we shall return to the earth, and rest among stardust. The lives we suffered through are meaningless insomuch as we are able to forgive ourselves. Giving ourselves mercy for the mistakes we’ve made, kisses we rejected, and people we’ve hurt. Ernest Hemingway On Love shares his experiences with learning that love is the only necessity.
Every decision either brings us further from or closer to the potential of love. Soulmates may be rare. But the gentleness of being fed, the silence of open ears, and the comfort of being held are indispensable. However, I also know heartbreak just as intimately. I know the self-inflicted wounds of losing a good woman. And the confusion of not knowing why they left. The most influential writer of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway, never recovered from lost love.
Before he ended his life, it was important to him that his final words explain the self-inflicted pain of letting the only true love of his life slip away. The tragedy of having loved two women at the same time has bedeviled him all his life. It was after he had a near death experience in a plane crash that he decided to relive those perilous days that had consumed him back in the twenties, when he initially went to Paris, diluting the please of the publication of his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest relived those years by describing them to me, and in the telling he found some measure of closure. But over the years of his life, it was an irreparable tragedy, one that he was never able to overcome, not through fam or plaudits or the profits of genius.
Ernest Hemingway lived, as we all do, a life that was simultaneously magical, adventurous, and tragic. The moment a man take his first breathe he is destined to suffer. As he sailed to the heights of literary fame he suffered from losing his one true love. The loss of love ravished his mind and spirit. And he followed the path of workaholics by placing all his attention on writing. With much pain we must face ourselves, and move through the jungle of heartbreak. But in order to avoid this treacherous journey we place our minds on the image of wealth. Seeming to forget that man shall forever suffer. That within the realm of temporality suffering is an aspect of experience.
Moving through the experience of heartbreak is like a meditation. One must not move away from the pain, but must stay steady within the stillness. Timeless the pain often feels one-sided, for the person we love seems to have moved on to a new life. In this moment we are fighting for our lives. Fighting for breathe. Our willingness to sit within this damnation determines whether we will leave fully conscious or gored by the experience. As we move through the experiences that make us want to give up on the world. We must sit and wait. And find a source to maneuver from in these spaces. However, Ernest Hemingway couldn’t overcome the effects of losing his wife. After his second plane crash he began contemplating suicide, and eventually took his own life. Ernest spoke on the pain, and loneliness, of losing his true love saying:
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination. Learning to suspend your imagination and live completely in the very second of the present. With no before and no after is the greatest gift a soldier can acquire. There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide. Than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it.”
Hemingway in Love is a memoir of the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway penned by his close friend and editor A. E. Hotchner, also known as Aaron Edward Hotchner. This memoir was written in 2015 to explain why Ernest Hemingway became deranged towards the end of his life. Hemingway in Love is a book about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, who was his only true love. Hemingway cheated on her for Pauline, a wealthy aristocrat, and fashion diva. He is said to have told the author Hotchner that he loved two women when he was cheating on Hadley for Pauline. When one reads Hemingway in Love, one realizes that many of Hemingway’s short stories centered on real stories that happened to him as a person. Continue reading Ernest Hemingway on the neccessity of courage.