Australia, Motivational, Philosophy

Resolution When All is Lost

Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask. She has long ago taken her resolution.

Henry David Thoreau

Ecosystems, in many areas of the earth, appear to be resolving certain environmental issues in their own way. In these strange times of Corona pandemic.

What does Resolution represent to you?

Here is another thought.

If you flee from the things you fear, there’s no resolution.

Chuck Palahniuk

Buried Alive

My mind drifted to thinking of resolution referring to the conflict between two people or nations and as I was looking for a suitable photo to add to this post, I found this, in my photo library.

beaconsfield mine disaster

It’s a museum poster at the Beaconsfield Mining Museum in Tasmania, spoken by the miner who was trapped with his mate and a dead colleague for 14 days, 1 kilometre underground after an underground gold mine collapsed. The incredible story of survival and careful extraction by the Recovery team led me to contemplate what resolution might mean in circumstances where all hope appears completely lost. What would resolution look like, then?

Todd Russell and Brant Webb were 900m (3,000ft) below ground, in a tiny space four and a half feet square. They couldn’t stand or sit and had to take turns lying either on their backs or their sides, as sharp rocks cut into them from below. They had a small amount of light, but it was a hot and humid 29C (84F), in their bunker. To keep their spirits up, Russell and Webb sang songs and told stories to pass the time. Their only food was a muesli bar.

On the sixth day, they were found by thermal imaging cameras and a microphone. Yet for the rescuers, this was the start of more frustration. “We were struck by the psychological trauma that affected everybody,” the miner explained. One driller told me that it was easier when he thought we were dead and he could convince himself he was just doing a job, breaking rock.Fourteen days of painstakingly slow and careful drilling later and the men were brought to the surface.

An interview with the miners 60 minutes TV one year after the disaster.

Beaconsfield Mine


How would you survive for fourteen days in a tiny space, not knowing if you were going to die at any minute? When there isn’t any other choice?

Todd Russell explains, “I made the effort to go back underground only a week after we got out,” he says. “You fall off a horse, you get back on it. I get quite uncomfortable at times, but I’m not spending 12 hours a day underground.

An amazing story of resolution. What was that trivial thing we were complaining about in relation to a Corona lock-down, a minute ago?

A final word from Jack Nicklaus

Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.

How do you resolve situations and experiences?

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21 thoughts on “Resolution When All is Lost”

  1. I resolve disagreeable experiences by playing them over in my mind until I determine I’ve learned the lesson I was meant to learn from the experience. In some cases the lesson is to never get into that situation again, in some cases it is to press onward despite the experience. No one size fits all answer to my life’s difficulties. Great question.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You sound wonderfully balanced, Ally. Whilst mulling over challenging experiences is not pleasant or in some cases even desirable, exploring ‘disagreeable experiences,’ as a learning tool, or vehicle for self-analysis, seems like a great way to find some benefit from something usually seen as very negative.
      For the miners, that would have been impossible whilst they were stuck in the mine, but definitely something to think about afterward. I like that you alluded to the suggestion to keep persisting and examine a range of perspectives until you can see the/a lesson for yourself. I think we can take away a lesson from almost every one of our problems. And in doing so, it might, occasionally, become a gift or bonus we might otherwise have missed.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, Manja. One of the guys struggled to cope with the after-effects, but Todd did fare better and still works with explosives, albeit with some level of anxiety. The most amazing thing was seeing these two guys, WALK out of the lift, and put their card back on the check in board, as if they had just completed a regular shift. No limping or anything. Just walked out. Do you remember that once they had established communication with them via a small pipe, but they were still stuck, they sent down sandwiches and music to them? Russell’s choice of music was The Foo Fighters! And he got to meet Dave Grohl. That is certainly is resolution into something positive!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Huge goosebumps, Amanda. I just finished reading “Moments in my writing life after which everything was different.” Chuck Palahniuk. Captivating, fascinating, disturbing. I may read it again and make notes.

    Yes, unimaginable “psychological trauma.” Wow, on going back underground.

    I think I am more along the lines of Ally’s response and the lesson in the experience. I don’t want to go into the dark place of exceptional circumstances even in my imagination. Amanda, you allude to how everything is relative and some experiences are trivial in comparison to others. I agree with you.

    A great post!


    1. Thank you, Eric/ka! I know that one should not make comparisons with other’s experiences. However, those comparisons that are comforting to us, have a place either in reassuring us or framing the experience in terms of what really matters/priorites. Do you know what I mean?
      How coincidental that you had just finished reading Chuck’s book? I must look that up. Have you posted about it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I commented about the book on a few sites, although not posted about it. I do a lot of reading throughout the night when I cannot sleep. I recall many gems. I should reread this book and make some notes. It was via elibrary and a significant wait time. I pay attention to coincidences, synchronicities, and Palahniuk’s words are surfacing. Good point on priorities, Amanda.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a powerful post and reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. It certainly puts into perspective our supposed “lockdown which really is the wrong term because none of us are really locked up are we. An extraordinary feat of survival by those miners and some lessons in there for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a fantastic angle for those winging about Corona lockdown, isn’t it, Miriam? We are still able to make a life in our houses and small villages. I think we forget that others have overcome so much worse in years gone by. I think also of all the boat people squashed in like sardines on the open ocean, or the early settlers/convicts stuck below decks on those old sailing vessels. We do have it good, comparatively speaking and must not take it for granted.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brian! That Churchill quote will live on in history. There are not many in the Western world who are not familiar with it. Saddam Hussein tried to emulate this but it didn’t quite have the same inspirational effect with his people!

      Liked by 1 person

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