Writing I love – Invictus

This week a poem rather than a book.

At times on my journey in this life I have not felt strong, certain, energetic and aligned. At time I have felt anxious, had bouts of depression, felt worthless. That makes me normal, that makes me human, that makes me alive.

This subject of wellness and mental health is still rarely talked about. I want to single out Matt Haig right now for this. A highly successful author in the UK, Matt is also a passionate advocate for mental health and anxiety in particular, particularly on Twitter, where he can be found here.

When I’ve had tough times, certain music, writing, movies have helped me. One poem that also works whether in a down or up state of mind for me is Invictus, 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.

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela famously anchored upon Invictus in is 27 years in prison.

He emerged from that time a man committed to changing his nation based on love and acceptance of his fellow South Africans, on reconciliation, not revenge, on acceptance, not punishment.

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul”

Invictus, read by Morgan Freeman :

Trailer for Invictus, a wonderful movie about so much more than a sporting event :