Thursday, June 11, 2015

Lyme Regis

Last Saturday Br. John and I went to Lyme Regis for a free day during the siege of chapter meetings. It was terrific. We lolled on the beach, ate crab sandwiches. It was one of those beautiful clear sunny days that one never associates with England.

Obviously that's unfair because we have been blessed by really good weather all week.

The Chapter meetings went well, and now I am enjoying time at Hilfield friary. Next week I will be the Chaplain with the Poor Clares at Freeland.

During our visit to Lyme Regis, I was (as always) attracted to a book store. Posted in the window was "Poem of the Month" and it turned out to be "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley. This is the poem Nelson Mandela gave to the captain of the Springboks, which you may have seen in the film "Invictus."

I was really struck by the poem.

It's probably a bit over the top to compare the situation of change in my life to what Mr. Mandela endured or whatever miseries Henley was referencing. But the idea that we have power in whatever situation we find ourselves is very important to me. We have power to say "yes" to whatever life brings and know that we are the captain of our soul. The skill of finding something to be grateful for can change situations, can change lives. I asked the man in the book store for a copy of the poem, and he obliged with a smile. Apparently the author had his leg amputated by a surgeon from Lyme Regis. Here it is:

Invictus

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 find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am master of my fate:
I am captain of my soul.

1 comment:

Jacob Kidda said...

Hi Brother Clark! Would you mind sharing a contact # or email with me? I'd love to speak with you. jacobkidda@gmail.com
Pax,
thank you for your blog and hope this message finds you well,
Jacob