Ghost, spirits, things that go bump in the night, are they real? What do you think, do you believe?
I don’t Believe, I know they exist, don’t think me CRAZY, (well a little), spirits are with us!
Because it was the Spirit (this is only one-story of sprites that I know 1st hand) of Ernest Hemingway, yes papa, Mr. wanderlust, the adventure seeker, the great writer, world traveler, War correspondent and yes Hero. His spirit not only inspired me to write, Hemingway’s power from beyond compelled me, it made me and still makes me, know and believe I can write I’ll share the story.
Late 80’s 87 or 88, I’m living in New York, with the person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Wow, looking back half a life ago, it feels like yesterday. In your 20’s one hears the saying time flies, bull-shit your inner voice says, at 59 those last 30 plus years, a blink…
She was from overseas Northern Europe, Cold, yet Beautiful country in the winter, one of the Scandinavian countries that’s as specific as I should be at this point. because although this is my story I want to be fair to her. Then again someday maybe I won’t be so fair, after all she did crush me.
Have I told you how much I love writing, thank you Mr. Hemingway! I’m sitting here in my car writing, and as I access the memories they come to life, like a movie showing in my head. I see her face, I see the things we did it takes me back to when I was 27. I first met her, how beautiful she was when she stepped off that airplane I was in love at first site, later she said her feeling of love for me happens at first glance also. 30 some years later I still have love for this human being I’m not in love, I have love, which still causes pain.
She had traveled, maybe three or four continents Me from Georgia to California, she read and spoke five languages, I had just learned to read English at 26.
She was highly intelligent very athletic Wonderful to be around, adventurous cool person. She introduced this country boy to new music, from around the World Italy, Spain, Grease the First time she played Edith Piaf the great French vocalist I cried it was so beautiful. -museums, Opera, the ballet. My first ballet what’s the nutcracker wow it changed my thoughts about dance we bought tickets to the metropolitan ballet. Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and the Paris opera ballet we experienced them all and more up close in great seats. She knew art, and much of history of the Artist, I was exposed to and we discussed, Monet, Divinci , Michael Angelo, Rodin, Van Gogh plus Picasso and so many more ! The true beginning of the education for Curtis Aikens. I remember our first visit to the Metropolitan Museum, the smile and look on her face warm me so! She put her arms around my neck kissing me while saying “oh Curtis we must come to this place every week, there is so much to see and feel” you know it feels good to share this.
The Guggenheim, Beautiful white building with the circular walk away, sometimes I would go there and sit in front of the building for at least an hour and I just love looking at that structure. Years later I go to the Guggenheim with my oldest son and he teaches his dad something about art, he and I were up top at the museum looking at the sculptures and carvings and I said to my son you know I’m not so crazy about sculptures, I don’t know why. My 13 year old Son, looks up at, and I swear he looked 40 years old reminded me of both his grandfather’s my dad as well as his mother‘s father wise determined look on his face and he says “dad why sculpture just think about it that artist looks a piece of stone, or clay maybe wood whatever he’s or she’s working with and has to see that shape in the mind, carve away all the excess so the world can see what no one except the artist knew was there, that’s true expression of art” Mic drop!
If you follow my social media feeds you are go see how many pictures of sculptures I have taken around the country and the world that, thank you son my teacher.
Central Park, anytime she and I were there was like a vacation day. I laugh about the great times we would have, Sundays just lay on a blanket or eating ice cream form the boat house or grabbing a canoe taking it out on the lake. The statues in different art forms throughout Central Park there are hundreds maybe thousands of statues she loves the one of Hans Christian Andersen we had so many pictures climb on the statues, this is before the days of cell phones and selfie’s. We would have to ask someone to take our picture great memories. She took me to Hunter Mountain I learned to ski, Stowe, Sugarbush and other ski resorts we became familiar with on the East Coast. She and I took the train to Toronto had the most incredible time travel to New Orleans beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde, jazz at preservation Hall. It’s because of her I got my passport, Rome, Paris, London Copenhagen, Oslo are all cities I got to know and love because of this woman. Curtis Aikens world traveler.
We also explored America if not by train/plane it was an automobile, rent a car off on weekend trips, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, DC. First time I visit the White House she and I were in DC and walked up to the gate this is back in the 80s so security was good, nothing like it is today. We are standing not really in a line someone says the White House is open for tours, we were able to walk into the White House it was amazing the Rose garden the grounds were just fantastic a fabulous day. Decades later I remembered that day as I walked those same White House Grounds, the Guide this time was the First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama.
This part of my journey that I share is a prime example, writing from the joy as I try to get closer and closer to writing from my all of my heart even the pain. I get close to writing from the hurt, this deeper level of mine. I think about it and I shy away from it until good stories, memories, which pushes the hurt and pain away, I hope to get to a point where I can write truly from the hurt the deeper pain, enabling me to heal.
As I was saying we explored Europe and America we wanted to play that what you do when young, see shit do stuff, let the fun out! She wanted to go to Key West Florida for the sunset and look out into the ocean to see if we could spot Cuba! She wanted to visit where Hemingway lived and worked his home! Me, OK you want to go Let’s do this! I had heard of Hemenway and others like F.Scott Fitzgerald were talked about it in school truth though, I never read his works and didn’t know about all of his newspaper work, his journeys until this wonderful woman enlighten me so, off to Florida! We fly to Miami get the Rent-A-Car take the 90-mile drive through the keys out to Key West is beautiful, beautiful! We made the rounds hitting Captain Tony’s and Sloppy Joe’s places Hemingway had his fair share of libations. I believe was one of those places where he ripped the urinal off-the-wall and Dragged it to his back yard!
We make it to Ernest Hemenway’s home, house, writing zone, whichever is appropriate, funny I don’t remember the main house very well. I can see the grounds the urinal laid out, the one he dragged home. The backyard the palm trees and just how cozy it felt in the yard. I remember vividly climbing the stairs to his studio a couple people came up with us. They left quickly it was just she and I, soon she left, I could not, take myself away from his study his work room, his creative space, place where he wrote from his hurt!
I’m standing there looking through the screened upon Hemingway’s workspace not be able to go any farther however, you can see everything his type writers, desk has all the little things that were there and when Ernest last worked there, so F-N cool. I’ve got my hands up near the screen not really leaning just hands lightly touching the screen. I was just thinking about the things I learned about Hemenway he was a womanizer a drinker could be rude and crude, I was thinking if he could write so eloquently why? Why not me?
I just felt this huge pull; my nose was pressed against the screen my hands start to sweat my legs kind of Buckled and.
That’s when his spirit and I’m not seeing it like looking at you or something I could hear it as I’m talking out loud it was put on my brain is like you have things to say Curtis Aikens, write you, you know look at my person his spirit is sharing with, feel my pain, you’ve got goodness and pain in you! you’ve got things that you can tell others. Pain you want to tell the world so go write express yourself! that’s why sometimes I’ll post just saying “express yourself!” I do that to thank the Ghost the Spirit of Mr. Hemingway.
The Spirit tells me don’t be afraid, Hemenway gave me the push I needed and I still sometimes think back to that day up there at his study that screen my nose Pressed into it I’m telling you guys I was pulled into that screen I didn’t do it myself some days when I need inspiration I think back to that, the day the ghost of Hemingway Came to me, telling me to get off my ass what’s the worst thing that can happen it won’t kill you to try! I have not been back to Key West, since that day.
thank you Ernest Hemingway thank you spirit of Hemenway thank you Ghost of Hemingway.
I have things to say, and I will ..
As I started the write, and share this part of my life, I came across something Ernest sent a friend below!
Hemingway once wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald: “We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get a damned hurt use it – don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist”. Some ten years after his painful World War I experiences, A Farewell To Arms was published. The work is heavily autobiographica
I hope to use my hurt to express and heal, myself and others…
Curtis G Aikens Sr.
the photo of Ernest Hemingway was from on line I tried to find to whom get credit could not. If someone know please share. Curtis