Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Chris and I went to see Invictus on Saturday night. The one where Matt Damon was a rugby player and Morgan Freeman played Nelson Mandela trying to heal South Africa. The whole time I was thinking two things:

1) Nelson Mandela? Way, WAY, better person than me. Way.
2) What the hell does invictus mean?

Lucky for me I'm alive in the age of Google, because otherwise I'd have been left to the mercies of the dictionary and/or encyclopedia. It turns out that invictus is the Latin word for undefeated. It was the title of the poem that Morgan/Nelson read in the movie.


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.

That's a good poem, right? Short, and a little rhymey, and meaningful. Man, I thought to myself, I should print that out and carry it around to . . .

remind myself that I've never actually experience real hardship. And when I experience kind-of-hard-ish-ship, I'm real whiny about it. That one line? My head is bloody, but unbowed? Yeah, well, my head is fine and it's still bowed. And not wincing, or crying aloud? Let's just say that if you took that out of my repertoire I'd have a lot less to talk about. So I probably shouldn't carry that poem around as if it has meaning in my life.

And you know what? Realizing this actually worried me (and there goes "finds and shall find me unafraid"). Because there is a LOT of hardship in the world these days. It occurred to me that my family is really unprepared for if the shit should actually hit the fan in our pillowy lives.

Me: Selfish and Whiny. Not good with hunger. Can't even go on a diet without giving up at hour 9
Chris: Easily Overwhelmed - has been know to shed real tears when told to change the bedsheets
Sam: Veal
Owen: Collapses, prostrate, when you open the package of fruit snacks for him instead of letting him do it himself

Seriously, what is this bunch going to do when the earthquake hits, or the bombs strike, or the aliens land?

Probably not thank whatever gods may be for their unconquerable souls.

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