First off, sorry for the double-spacing in the poem below; Blogger no longer allows for line spacing control. Hopefully, this will be fixed, or I'm off to Wordpress.org
We're still looking for a home for Sadie the Catahoula; if you're interested, please email email@example.com
It's getting really hard to uphold the 'never say die' thing in the cancer fight; I have to force myself to drink as well as eat (and cold beer is a cherished memory); nausea and pain are beat-head-against-wall-bad.
Like just about everyone on God's Green Earth, I use Bible verses and moto slogans to buck myself up.
And as things got worse, they failed me. "Fear not!" when you're terrified? "Be strong!" when you take out a dog and can't get back to your front door?
So it's easy to take a jaundiced view of motivational 'materials', but is it right?
Well, yes and no. What people write represent individual experience, and that experience may not be analogous to yours. I am not Paul the Apostle; I am not Tony Robbins. Paul is more likely to speak to my life now, but even so, boasting of weakness when I have to crawl to the dunny just doesn't seem to do it, y'know?
However...if I try to look past current circumstance, there is a meaning behind the meaning. My weakness now is not disgrace; it's something of a liberation. I can't do this! acquires a coda: But with God's help, maybe I can.
Or maybe I can't, and have to call for aid, or...sorry...use a bedpan. The saving grace of Paul's words...the grace that saves my heart...is acceptance.
Likewise with my favourite motivational saying, Ake ake kia kaha, which is often translated from the Maori as 'forever strong', but is more accurately forever, and be strong. The first is a boast, and that's not a bad thing, but the latter is more a benediction and a gentle wish.
To me, this says that life is legacy; this moment, even though it may be one of my last on earth, has a lasting effect both on those let behind, and on me. Taking the strength to smile (and right now, smiling hurts, not emotionally but physically!) adds something to eternity.
"Ake ake kia kaha -
for ever, and be strong!"
Is it truth or is it blather?
Is it right, or wrong?
Slogans are not definition,
war cries hold no lease
as bulwark against perdition
in the belly of the beast.
And yet, and yet,
in gather'd gloom
when I am sore beset
the words are proof against my doom
and in haka's fearsome roar
I perceive a golden door.
As a special treat, here are two videos. The first is perhaps the greatest haka ever, before the All Blacks played France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final...which the All Blacks won 8-7, in the lowest-scoring World Cup final ever. (Blogger is, I'm told, being weird. If you can't see the video click here.)
Next, here's Kiri te Kaanawa singing Now Is The Hour. (Likewise, if the video's not visible, click here.)