Sunday, January 31, 2010

Poems Can Make Us More Courgeous!


Out of the night that covers me,

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.

~William Ernest Henley

The title for the movie “Invictus” is the same as one of William Ernest Henley’s poems. The movie is about Nelson Mandela’s rise from being a prisoner to the president of his country. He showed by the way he lived his life that he was the “master of his fate” and “captain of his soul.” As president, he turned enemies into friends, and treated both black and white as one big family, during a very trying post-apartied time. Both movie and poem have many levels of meaning, but the foundation for both is courage. Without the courage of our convictions, and the courage to follow our dreams, who are we? How much can we contribute to society?

This seems like a superb poem to memorize and chant to ourselves when we feel courage lacking in our lives to do the right thing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Eyes Are Windows--Mine Were Cloudy!

I think that’s a wild and crazy picture of Hillary, and I figured it was a good way to get your attention. She looks better than I do with my propeller hat. I have to tell you that I always loved the quote, “Our eyes are windows to our soul.” I heard that many moons ago, yet I think about it's message a lot as I watch people come and go daily in my life. I am highly attracted to people who have a passion in their eyes that declares, “I love the work that I do! It's more fun than work! Just watch me do my thing!” Of course, I love observing passionate people.

Last night, I was worried about my cataract surgery, and I had to be at the Surgery Center at 6:30 a.m., which is long before I usually jump out of bed. And what was I doing with my valuable time? I was watching Charlie Rose interview Morgan Freeman. It was a very gentle, relaxing, and honest interview that I actually saw before. During the show tears could be seen rolling around in Morgan’s eyes, and perhaps, Charlie’s. Both men have deep respect for one another and their talents. Both men admitted that they could have been better family men had they given more time to the role. But men sought happiness through perfecting their talents in the media with total determination. Both were happy with the way their lives have unfolded.
But Morgan said that he is trying to do better as a father now.

Morgan shared a poem that meant a great deal to him that learned in his youth and is a pivotal part of his latest movie. Can you imagine that?—poetry being important in the mainstream? The movie? The movie is "Invictus," starring Morgan as Nelson Mandela, who rallies South Aftrica’s underdog rugby team as they strive to do the impossible: win the 1995 World Cup Championship match. The movie is named after a poem. Can you believe that? (I will share the poem that helped to unite South Africa.)

Charlie said at the end of the show that there’s always a great story if you can get someone to talk about why they leap out of bed in the morning. 

Before sunrise, I leapt out of bed, even though I had far less sleep than usual, and I went off to my surgery with a smile on my face—no silence of the scared in the car. Along the way I thought: Life has been good with two good eyes. And life will stay good. My goal in life, no matter what, is to encourage my readers to enjoy poetry, while we ride life’s rollercoaster with family, friends, and those not yet our friends.

I see the world better now, after surgery. Blogs can help us to see life clearer too. They can open windows to our souls.