Reduced Ceiling and Visibility / Atmospheric Conditions That Strangle Up My Mind

Steamer W.E. Fitzgerald

Image courtesy of the The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Matt Miner Collection.

A bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny summer day in San Francisco and my mind is back aboard a 400 foot frozen in lake boat (For example: The obstinate, stubborn and defiant W. E. Fitzgerald 1906 – 1971 stoically portrayed above). This account of Ernest (“so here’s to you you articulate dead fisherman”) Hemingway writing about Paris when in Michigan and writing about Michigan when in Paris always strikes a chord with me. Is there a word, name, term or phrase for this phenomena other than homesickness? Or as Dylan wrote “to be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.”

Writing about Michigan

Hemingway would for the rest of his life make references to Michigan and his youth. In A Moveable Feast he describes writing about Michigan while sitting in Paris cafes in the twenties. In True at First Light he remembers from Africa the sweet taste of cider pressed at Horton Bay and in Islands in the Stream the lead character is asked when he had been most happy. He recounted days at the lake as a boy. Clearly Hemingway might have physically left Michigan but its memories never left him.

Source: Clarke Historical Library
Image Source: The Marine Historical Society of Detroit

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