When I was in college, as a perk of being in a small honors program, I had the privilege of working with a Hemingway scholar; someone who had not only written extensively on Hemingway his Lost Generation tribe members, but who knew the Hemingways personally.
As an English major, this group of eclectic expatriates became the subject of great fascination and admiration for me. From the texts my Professor assigned to the anecdotal richness she contributed, I decided to focus the majority of my studies on this Lost Generation, even composing my thesis as a cubist piece through writing.
As a class trip, the five of us in my honors class were led on a special tour of The Barnes Foundation (when it was still in Merion) and she told us about the paintings, the artists, the gallery and the placement of pieces; she told us about Gertrude Stein’s salon; She showed us a Cezanne landscape and told us that it was Hemingway’s aim to write like Cezanne would paint with the light that shone in between the trees; that it was what was not there that was more important than what was. I will never forget that lesson, about looking for what is in the space in between the objects, rather than just at the objects themselves. Hemingway, my favorite, mastered that, in his elegant sparseness.
Today I was overwhelmed by the beauty of nature; the light between the trees took my breath away, as the world was filled with white.
It gave me a second to look, to notice, what was between the trees.
The light between the trees.
in an instant, things can change. Not hours after my post detailing every inch of our living room, I got a text from my dad, who was at the Rago Discovery Auction that simply said “It’s yours.” referring to a settee I had spotted and told him to get if he could at a good price. And he did, along with a modern chiming clock for his new office and a Triptych of modern paintings.
And a few hours after that, my living room had transformed once again.
And the chairs that I had placed together as a makeshift love seat now flank the window. And it all works. Well, I think.
I was able to top both the settee and the chairs with black and ivory striped pillows that I had taken home in a trash bag from my Mommom a few days ago. She said “Could you use these anywhere?” I said, “Probably.” They are perfect.
An edition of Hemingway’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” that belonged to his late grandfather, a birthday gift from his own father, one that he will surely share with his son, as the card suggested. It is so old that it is both covered in burlap (a pre-war precaution) and inscribed with their family’s old last name. So special for so many reasons.
So just like that, in a matter of hours, our room got a lot of things; several more pillows, a bit more furniture and a lot more history.