Hemingway wrote the below in a letter, aged only 24, to a friend living in Paris.
‘We can’t ever go back to old things. Or try and get the old kick out of something. Or find things the way we remembered them. We have them as we remember them, and they’re fine and wonderful. And we have to go on. And have other things. Because the old things are nowhere, except in our minds now.’
Which I find kind of heart-breaking, because transience affects me, but all of life is there in his words, and the lines in the face of the old man silhouetted against the fire are catching the light like tiny incandescent branches, and he looks a lot like I might if I ever make it that far, and he is shrugging his shoulders and leaning back in his rocking chair and smiling imperceptibly, and his smile is saying that this is the mysterious way of the world, and it doesn’t need to be heart-breaking, it can beautiful too.