A visual field journal and companion site to HeartHandsEyes.com
I am a physician and educator specializing in Family Medicine & Obstetrics traveling and working in the fields of global health, expedition and disaster medicine.
"Chances are you’re raised in the country or in a small town surrounded by country: someplace where you can easily walk or ride your bike to the edge of what until recently had been the known world, and then on into the fields, woods and creeks beyond. Some of this is private land and you occasionally have to crawl through a barbed-wire fence to get on it, but the niceties of ownership are left to the adults to sort out. To a kid, it’s all just unpopulated and there to explore. The first time a farmer yells at you for trespassing, you honestly don’t know what he’s talking about.
You’re equipped for this wilderness with a hand-me-down folding knife and the Army-issue compass your father brought home from World War Two. The weight of these items in your pocket feels comfortingly substantial; although you understand only in a theoretical way that the compass is some sort of insurance against getting lost. You haven’t yet learned the hard lesson that it doesn’t matter where north is if you don’t know which direction you came from. In addition to the knife and compass, you have a cane fishing pole with a line stout enough to land a tarpon, as well as a slingshot that seems potentially lethal but maddeningly inaccurate. You also have a crude homemade spear that you keep hidden because you know Dad will ask what you plan to do with it and you won’t have an acceptable answer. Taken together, these items constitute the beginning of a lifelong fascination with the tools of sport. You experience the kind of freedom that will be unknown to future generations.
This is the 1950s, when kids are still allowed to run wild as long as they’re home by dark. It’s also a time when low-grade delinquency—like trespassing, truancy or the odd fistfight—comes under the heading of “boys will be boys.” You might get scolded or spanked, but you won’t have to undergo counseling. Like all children, you take your play as seriously as any young predator.”
On the eve of my last @medillschool class till June I’m reminded of the power one person can have on the trajectory of your life. And why I write letters to let my students know their appreciated and loved. Part of my lifetime assignment. BE FAITHFUL, STAY FOCUSED, KEEP IN FLIGHT.