In his earlier work, Hemingway experimented with the lean, muscular writing style he eventually distilled to what he referred to as "iceberg theory." That is, leave your meaning mostly beneath the surface.
We love this elegant aphorism for what remains unsaid, but our guess is that he was speaking broadly of humanity.
As human beings , we are capable of extraordinary creativity, wisdom and compassion. But we’re also capable of destruction, distrust and self-inflicted wounds.
In our illustration, we reimagined this contradiction in our nature as a flourishing tree with a tenuous foundation. From the top, it branches out in a hundred directions, each leaf taking the shape of an eye observing the world. But from the base, the trunk is displaced to form the blade of an axe - the source of its own potential destruction.