Over the weekend, I heard the poem Invictus again by William Ernest Henley. I’ve heard it before and knew that it was the poem that Nelson Mandela recited to other prisoners while serving 27 years on Robben Island. This time, I took the poem to heart as it reminds me of a dear friend, Clint Miller, who is battling an aggressive form of testicular cancer. Even when times are tough, he always keeps his sense of humor, his zest for life, and his love and appreciation for his friends and family. He’s said more than once, the he has cancer, but cancer doesn’t have him. Clint is inspiring to so many people, and demonstrates every day that it is indeed possible to be the master of your own fate, and the captain of your own soul, no matter what life may send your way. For Clint:
by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
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.