Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Would I really know what to do if life wasn’t crazy?

I think the honest answer to that question is no. My life has been crazy for far too many years for me to even know what “normal” is. Oddly enough that doesn’t bother me. I kind of like the craziness and I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that I can deal with pretty much anything life throws at me.

I had a coworker ask me today what my secret was. She was shocked by my answer. Poetry. I recite poems in my head when I am stressed. If I’ve read it, it’s in my database of poems and I pull them out when I’m stressed. But I have my favorites: “
The Raven” or “Dream within a Dream” by Poe, “The Lady of Shalott” by Tennyson (“I am half sick of shadows” is where “halfshadow” comes from and I obviously like Tennyson since I named my cat after him) but the poem that gets me through the real low points is this:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

No comments: