The Old Man and the Shell

It was truly a magnificent specimen. He had found it as he pulled the tiny boat close by the shore in the sheltered inlet. The pearlized pink had struck his eye as he searched for a secure and safe landing spot. He had given up the fishing when the last of the bait had gone. Rather than return to port with nothing to show for the day’s fishing, he had thought to gather a few conch shells as the tourists paid and paid well for such things. The size of the shell was as no other found in this localidad. Perhaps if he sold it to Harry’s Bar and American Grill, it would be profitable for all concerned. People would come from around the world to see that which Manuel had wrested from the sea. Truly he could become as famous as Harry’s American Bar and Grill.

Ah, the possibilities and passions, indeed. As previously mentioned in the meditation that opened this segment, this prose passage was submitted by my father for a Hemingway imitative prose contest. In it, you may glimpse my father’s own unfulfilled dream of becoming a writer on a par with one of his literary idols. So the passion to write, still in him, just before he passed.

The passion that is in art, which I wrote of in the previous poem, influences others and makes them dream of personal possibilities. Within this selection, the protagonist similarly contemplates the possibilities of money and fame, something which Hemingway and other artists have themselves aspired to. The passions of some, in turn, become the passions of others and influence the many. For each of us, the shell of the selection is whatever passion informs and influences our life and dreams.

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