Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank You, Rudyard

So yeah, earthquake. Again. This time, it hit close to the city, in the middle of the day. The devastation is pretty goddamn insane.

Now, as so often in life, I've taken my cues from the words of Rudyard Kipling. I've spent most of my life trying to 'fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' distance run', and quite a bit this last year I've had to learn how 'being lied about, not to deal in lies.'

This week, with the flooding of my tattoo shop and the condemnation of its building, I know I have to 'see the things I gave my life to broken, and stoop to build 'em up with worn-out tools.'

So once again, thank you Rudyard Kipling. Your words guide me through life...

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

And as far as that sixty seconds' worth goes, not once this week have I missed my daily word count.

8 comments:

liz fenwick said...

I love that you have made your daily word count! So sorry about the shop but pleased to know you are ok.

lx

Angie said...

It's so good to hear from you! [hugz] I'm glad you're okay, although that sucks about your shop. I'm glad you're still writing, though -- that's awesome. Hang in there, hon!

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

I am sorry about the shop man. These are good words to live by. I don't know if I have the strength but I'll try it myself too.

Heather Close said...

I am really relieved to hear that you are as ok as can be expected. I may have worn out the refresh button on this site over the past few days. I am really not a fan of tattoo shops getting destroyed by forces of nature esp. flooding.

When you get to the point of wrapping your head around all of it, I might have some extra equipment I could part with since it has been in a closet for a while now... let me know.

Barbara Martin said...

Steve, glad to hear you're ok after the quake. Too bad about your shop. I'm sure you'll find another location soon.

Sphinx Ink said...

I've been worrying about you and I'm so glad to know you're okay. Bad luck about the shop. You'll get through it, though, no matter how tough the struggle. I am sending good vibes to you.

Kate Sterling said...

I'm just so glad you're still among us. And amazed and humbled by the fact that you've kept up your word count.

cs harris said...

This was one of my mother's favorite poems--one that she was always quoting me along with her different drummer line.

I'm so sorry to hear about all the turmoil in your life. At this point it's easy to feel like what didn't destroy you is instead wearing you down, but that passes. And I am beyond impressed that you're still writing. I may have met my Mermaids' deadline in the end, but I didn't start writing again for MONTHS after Katrina.

My thoughts are with you.