What I Did on My Covid-19 Vacation: Book Ends
I am not without hope as I surrender my freedom to enter this country-club prison. And hopefully I am not without humor. This voluntary isolation, this social distancing, dictates the nature and the duration of my sentence. I will be here until the death curve flattens out. No more, no less. And there will be no time off for good behavior.
At times like this, I look for wisdom greater than my own from leaders greater than the leaders of today. So as you read Mandela’s favorite poem, Invictus, imagine me reading his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. I confess, I started in the middle of his book. Part Seven, Rivonia – The beginning of his long internment. I pray that my own will be much shorter.
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.
And one of mine:
When it comes to living life backwards
Benjamin Button has nothing on me
I’ve dreamed of being me since I was three
And like the great poet Muhammad Ali
But I almost didn’t recognize myself
because I forgot you can dream backwards
as well as you can forwards
Just like I forgot how blessings come to me
Before I remember to ask for them
or like following through on a pitch
that’s already left your hand
So life is just a back-story
For the role I was born to play
And all I have to do now
is pretend I forgot the ending
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Thanks for reading
The Bard of Appanoose