I'm sure it comes from a lesson learned early on, from my Mother as it turns out, when I kept asking her questions about various and random things and to define words I didn't know. She turned to me finally and said, "Look it up."
I have a sneaking suspicion she said that because she actually didn't know the answers to what I was looking for. Tricky, tricky. But it was probably more that she wanted to make sure I didn't get too comfortable always asking for help, always having someone else tell me the answer. In that one instant, after hearing those three little words, I distincly remember thinking - fine, I'll go figure it out for myself. That sort of attitude has definitely played a significant role in shaping my life.
I digress yet again dear reader. The point of Blog the Eleventh was to share something very special with you. I have listed the songs that get me through the bad times - but during the Vortex of Pain, probably the hardest time in my life, there is something I "read" rather than "listen to" that helps me along.
It is a poem.
One whose words envelope me in a blanket of sureity, that I sometimes repeat it again and again to myself, hoping to continually absord the utter confidence it speaks of in making it through the rough times. One day, I hope to get the whole thing tattooed somewhere on my body, if not at least just the title. For now, it is displayed at my desk at work and at home.
If you decide this poem speaks to your heart as well, I encourge you to print it out, fold it up and carry it with you, in your wallet, your shoe, even your bra. It will serve as a reminder of the resolve that is in all of us everyday or even just when we need it the most.
And now, I proudly present...
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
*many thanks to my friend Terrence Hendrix for passing this poem, this strength on to me.
*Invictus was written by British Poet William Ernest Henley