Today is Monday. No words come to me.
I’m a prolific writer in private, rarely posting the journal entries, but here I am stuck.
But, this I know: walking and writing go hand-in-hand.
Each step can be a word.
On a stroll to the lab from the parking lot I pass through the front entrance of a military hospital.
Everyday I see injured people.
Hidden or visible, they all have a story.
Based on my guess of their ages, most of these patients endured combat in Vietnam, Korea, or Iraq (Desert Storm in the 90’s). Maybe a few of the younger men (and certainly women) are from recent campaigns.
It was a beautiful morning and many of the patients were outside. Some hold canes, others bound to wheelchairs; a few clustered together smoking cigarettes–altogether, all of a Monday morning visages, or something much deeper.
Many of the older, haggard soldiers often look despondent, or resilient and hard, but few hold the neutral ground, the naiveté of civilian-hood.
I venture my judgement fails in many places; but how do you describe a type of people without a photograph (I dare not take one).
Not all of them mind you are hard and have the away-look, that’s just my impression of the majority who have appointments.
A few sit on concrete K-rails, lining a roundabout entrance to the hospital. Others sit alone with their smokes, cheerful, admiring the day.
I know things, but I don’t feel it.
I like the smell of cigarettes, oddly. But, I don’t smoke them.
There is a reality I’ll never face.
I don’t throw cliches about recklessly, I’ve read and heard enough, but I can’t imagine (for some, not all) the suffering that people experience. This is a World of Pain, and as Ernest Hemingway once said/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.” ― A Farewell to Arms
Granted, this is true for me. If my pitifully small thorns in my side were magnified 1000-fold, then I may also be weak of body and of fragile mind. Despondent.
We have a harsh reality around us.
No platitudes here.
Just a walk to my office this Monday morning.
Not stuck. Struck.
I’m simply in awe of the Darkness this World can throw at you.
This is it, ladies and gentlemen, please find your footing.