Health is the most precious gem that shines in the heart of humans, and without it everything goes to depression and sadness and thoughts of doom; life seems to wither slowly when we’re suffering, when we feel this incapacity; when we are stuck somewhere without being able to go on our daily routine — and yet, out of time, a message, a poem, a story persists, and to me, when suddenly my health deteriorates, when all things loved disappear one by one like smoke in air, I remember Invictus, by William Ernest Henley:
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.
This poem stays with me, and will forever remain in my heart; Invictus touched the depth of my soul with its wonderful message, but also, it became more precious to my heart after that I learned from Wikipedia about the circumstances in which this poem came to be. Afterwards, I just couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how creativity continues to burn in a writer’s heart whose going through such heavy pain… I’m under total awe in front of such a great poet who gave birth to such beautiful lines that continue to inspire us, knowingly of what he was enduring back then. Do you realise that not even a single bit of pain nor bitterness transpire through this poem, as if he had heartedly accepted his destiny, that love of one’s fate… and by accepting his fate he learns to live with it… and to transcend the pain he feels, he accepts, and even welcomes it wholeheartedly; and in this ultimate realisation he writes these two last epic lines: “I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul”… and I just can’t stop wondering about whether it was life itself that was talking through his pen, that was consoling him, that is consoling us… telling some of us that it is how we have to do it so as to liberate ourselves… a message, a poem, a bit of information, an answer, a piece of the puzzle, some love, something obscure that remains packed in light. And then when you think that Invictus is all that he could give us, then you happen to learn that he has also written another beautiful poem titled, Madam life’s a piece of bloom.
Thus I go on with life, knowingly that I need to do everything that I can so as to not let the strangling circumstances of life affect me, because I am the captain of my soul; I’ll do my very best to live a fulfilling life, and not let the circumstances of existence define, embitter, or even anger me, because I am the captain of my soul; I won’t wither away and die, I’ll take what’s best in life, I’ll write, I’ll laugh, I’ll read, I’ll live, I’ll take care of my vessel, love it, take care of my mental health, breed it, take care of others, help them, because I can choose how to react, I have the choice, because I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul, as everything begins and end in the mind.