(July 8, 1967, his 23rd birthday)
The Snows of Kilomonjaro by Hemingway has been called a summary of everything he’s ever written. It’s about a man dying in Africa who thinks back over all the stories he’s wanted to write, all the life he’s wanted to record + never will now. He thinks of squalor on city streets, of poor, hungry people, of rich people, of myriads of events which were important to him. How a winter in a snowbound cabin could have been a source of a dozen stories. He’s like Yep + perhaps myself. He knows it’s too late. He’ll never do all he wants, nor satisfy all his curiosity or his desire to record his satiated curiosity. One can never live it all, but still one must try. One must appreciate + notice the stories or “experiences” in everything. The budding red, yellow, + orange rose; the way the sun looks in dusty air; the camoflage [sic] look leaves make when they cast shadows, the ocean, the expressions of a dog’s face (Trig) when he wants to go for a ride, or when he’s been shouted at; the way newly-mown grass smells; honeysuckle + lilac; the view from the ridge in West Seattle; the fish bar at Ivars; the recorded speech about fireboats; the Japanese garden in the Arboretum; the squirrels; the ivy growing around my window the first year in Law School; the way sand looks when it runs thru your fingers – there’s so much!