Hemingway’s study- chaos and creativity

Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his popular novels, including To Have and Have Not, in the study of his Key West Florida home.

The house, on the National Register of Historic Places, has been preserved as it was when he and his wife Pauline lived there and is open to visitors, like myself, when I visited there a couple of years ago.

the study of Ernest Hemingway, with a cat sleeping on the floor

Chaos

This entire house, and especially the narrative of his life (as related to us by our verbose tour guide) is itself a study of a man whose life and career was largely shaped by mental illness.

Ernest Hemingway displayed mood swings and abused drugs and alcohol. Despite numerous psychiatric hospital stays where he was treated with ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, he struggled with chronic depression.

He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head in 1961.

CATWALK

Creativity

While dealing with mental illness and traumatic brain injuries, he continued to write prolifically and successfully, winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954 for The Old Man and the Sea.

photos of Ernest Hemingway displayed at his Key West home

He wrote acclaimed novels, several of which became major movies. His personal life was not so successful; three of his four marriages ended in divorce.

Ernest Hemingway’s novels and movies 

(an affiliate link, if you use it, at no additional cost, this blog will earn funding.)

The challenge of mental illness

Mental illness often runs in families. Ernest’s father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, a gynecologist, suffered from manic-depression and died by suicide.  Ernest and his siblings likely inherited it from their father.

2016-06-16 10.05.16

Sadly, it did not end with him. His granddaughter, Margaux Hemingway, a fashion model and actress, dealt with depression, alcoholism, and bulimia.

She died from an apparent intentional drug overdose at age 42.

Her sister Mariel reflected on her family’s troubled history in

Finding My Balance 

Finding My Balance

 

 

 

“A lonely life”

Ernest Hemingway could not attend the ceremony to receive his Nobel Prize. He wrote a short speech which was read by John C. Cabot, the Ambassador to Sweden. In that speech he wrote, SOLITARYWRITER

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”

HEMINGWAY'S STUDY-CHAOS AND CREATIVITY

Hemingway’s cats

At least 40 to 50 cats live on the grounds of the Hemingway House;  many of them are descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cats. They live peaceful, serene lives, far different from the people who lived there long ago.

What you should know about suicide from the NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

  • Suicide is the tenth most common cause of death in the United States.
  • People may consider suicide when they are hopeless and can’t see any other solution to their problems.
  • Suicide may occur with  serious depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or a major stressful event.
  • People who have the highest risk of suicide are white men.
  • Women  and teens report more suicide attempts.
  • Therapy and medicines can help most people who have suicidal thoughts. Treating mental illnesses and substance abuse can reduce the risk of suicide.
  • If someone talks about suicide, you should take it seriously.
  • Urge them to get help from their doctor or the emergency room, or call the

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at

1-800-273-TALK (8255).

It is available 24/7.

A psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa Welby says this about managing bipolar disorder(a form of chronic depression).

“A key to managing bipolar disorder is to recognize early relapse warning signs. Medication will minimize, but not eliminate, mood swings for many people coping with bipolar disorder. “

On her blog she offers offers these Keys to Coping with Bipolar Disorder

Understanding mental illness

I hope you will use the following links to resources to help you, your family, or anyone you know who does or may suffer from mental illness. There is help and most importantly, there is hope.

Warning signs of mental illness

“Major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.” Most often family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves begin to recognize small changes or a feeling that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings or behavior before one of these illnesses appears in its full-blown form.”

Technology and the future of mental health treatment

“Excitement about the huge range of opportunities has led to a burst of app development. There are thousands of mental health apps available in iTunes and Android app stores, and the number is growing every year. However, this new technology frontier includes a lot of uncertainty. There is very little industry regulation and very little information on app effectiveness, which can lead consumers to wonder which apps they should trust.” (affiliate link used)

Suicide prevention

“The most important thing to remember about suicidal thoughts is that they are symptoms of a treatable illness associated with fluctuations in the body’s and brain’s chemistry. They are not character flaws or signs of personal weakness, nor are they conditions that will just go away on their own. “

Thanks for joining me to tour the unique home of Ernest Hemingway, using photos I took myself.

Please consider helping support this blog by using my affiliates. You’ll find links in the side bars, on the home page, and on the resource page.

Thank you for following  and sharing Watercress Words.

always exploring the HEART of health ,  Dr. Aletha 

man and woman with Key West visitor sign

My husband and I upon arriving in Key West, Florida the farthest south city in the U.S.A.

Advertisements

Mother Teresa’s life and legacy

Although she was not medically trained, the nun Mother Teresa is remembered for her compassion and care for  sick and suffering people. I had an unexpected chance “encounter” with Mother Teresa .

A few years ago I went to Peoria Illinois for medical training for a new job. I had never been there before so one afternoon I did some exploring.

I came across this magnificent church ,the

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception

 

 

an ornate church

 

 
statue of the nun Mother Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I stopped  to get a better look and while exploring the grounds found this statue of Mother Teresa.

Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa was born on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, the current capital of the Republic of Macedonia. She was baptized as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her father died suddenly and under mysterious circumstances when she was only 8 years old.  Her mother taught her to care about all people, especially the destitute, although they were far from well off themselves.

She  felt a call to religious life as a young girl, and after becoming a nun, Sister Teresa first worked as a teacher. Later, she felt a second call, this time to work among the poor and sick in Calcutta India. Now known as Mother Teresa, it took her a year to get permission to leave the convent for the slums of Calcutta.

With some of her former students, she founded the Missionaries of Charity. Their projects included founding a leper colony, an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and a string of mobile health clinics. She also opened Gift of Love, a home to care for those infected with HIV/AIDS.

For her work, Mother Teresa was awarded many honors and awards, including the  1979 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work “in bringing help to suffering humanity.”

Despite her acclaim, Mother Teresa remained  modest and humble. After her death, some of her private writings became public, revealing she often doubted her faith and felt lost and alone. Although people criticized her for this, others see it as a reflection of her true faith in God, remaining devout even when she didn’t feel certain, something many of us can understand.

She died in September 1997 and was beatified in October 2003. In December 2015, Pope Francis recognized a second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa, clearing the way for her to be canonized as a saint in 2016. (source biography.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015-01-23 12.24.18

I was curious about why this church in Illinois had a statue of Mother Teresa, so when I returned home I researched the story. I found a story about the church at  Peoria Public Library . Mother Teresa visited Peoria twice because some nuns from the Missionaries of Charity worked there at St. Mary’s. On one occasion she spoke to a group of women saying,

 

 “I am a poor woman that prays.

 

God has not called us to be successful, but to be helpful.”

A local artist, Lonnie Stewart, travelled to India to sketch Mother Teresa, then completed the 6 foot tall statue of her, unveiling it at the church in 1998.

 

41Fdkrcq2ML._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_

No Greater Love is the essential wisdom of Mother Teresa — the most accessible, intimate, and inspiring book of her teachings.

Thematically arranged to present her revolutionary vision of Christianity in its graceful simplicity, the book features her thoughts on love, generosity, forgiveness, prayer, service, and what it means to be a Christian.

A passionate testament to deep hope and abiding faith in God, No Greater Love celebrates the life and work of one of the world’s most revered spiritual teachers.”

(There are affiliate links in this post  provided for your convenience and to  allow this blog to earn a commission from sales at no extra cost to you. )