A Morning Walk Through The Landscapes of Human Resilience

Every weekday morning, my walk from the parking lot to my lab takes me past the entrance of a military hospital. On the surface, it’s an ordinary stroll, but the people I pass every day are far from ordinary. They are injured veterans, men and women whose scars—visible or invisible—tell stories of battlefields stretching from Vietnam and Korea to Iraq and beyond.

Vertical banner feature image - human resilience observed from a walk past a military hospital

The Setting

On a particularly clear Monday morning, the area outside the hospital was busy. There were veterans in wheelchairs, some leaning on canes, and a few others huddled in small groups, cigarettes in hand. The atmosphere was a mixture of stoicism, perhaps even despondency, and yet there were glimmers of camaraderie and isolated moments of cheerfulness.

The Complexity of Human Emotion

The visages of these veterans vary wildly. Some look hardened, as if encased in an emotional armor forged in the fires of combat. Others appear less fortified, their eyes revealing the toll of years, of memories too heavy to carry.

This is why Art was invented (La crucifixion (1932), by Picasso, a master of enigma)

This is not to generalize; it is simply an observation of what appears to be the majority. It’s difficult to capture the essence of these people without taking a photograph, which would be intrusive. One is reminded of Picasso’s painting “La crucifixion (1932),” a masterwork of enigma that captures the complex layers of human experience.

Echoes of Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.” (source)

Ernest Hemingway had a unique way with words to describe the world and, more importantly, people.

As I walk past these veterans, I’m reminded of Hemingway’s words. How many among these people are “strong at the broken places?” And what of those who could not find that strength?


Personal Reflections

Although I consider myself well-read and empathetic, there’s a wall between my understanding and my emotional grasp of what these individuals have endured. I like the smell of cigarettes, but I don’t smoke; I can ponder the philosophies of pain, but my own sufferings are minuscule compared to what many of these Veterans have faced. It’s an uncomfortable yet necessary acknowledgment of my own limitations in comprehending the depth of human suffering.

The Stark Reality

As I reach my office, I carry with me a palpable sense of both the resilience and fragility of human life. My short walk serves as a daily reminder of the stark realities that exist just a stone’s throw from my comparatively mundane professional life.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to get lost in the rush of daily responsibilities and overlook the worlds existing parallel to our own. As we go about our routines, let’s not forget to pay homage to the resilience and complexity of the human spirit—evident in a fleeting smile, a stoic face, or even the collective puff of a cigarette on a Monday morning.

This is it, ladies and gentlemen: our world in all its brutality and beauty. Please find your footing.

Enjoying Your Visit? Join Tangible Day

Free newsletter with monthly updates (no spam)

Leave a comment below! Follow on X, Instagram, and Facebook.

Free photo backdrop bundle for miniature photography - tangible day - backgrounds for photographing miniatures - free gift image
Grab your FREE photo backdrop bundle for miniature photography in the shop.
Best Alternative to Winsor & Newton Series 7 Brushes for Painting Miniatures - cheap sable kolinsky sable brushes for painting miniatures - good budget brushes for painting miniatures - blick masterstroke brush for model paint
Favorite tabletop miniature and wargaming finds on etsy - tabletop miniature and wargamer favorites on etsy image
135 Unique Hobby Gift Ideas: Fast 2 Days or Less Shipping!
Full metal dice for rpg games - polyhedral dice for dnd and tabletop gaming - forged gaming dice sets

Tangible Day on YouTube (Miniatures and More!)

Tangible Day on YouTube follow image flash screen

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: