Whenever we get off track, there should always be something that kind of puts us back on course. Maybe it could be some one who you admire, a personality, an album or even a really good movie. Something that reminds you that dreams still do exist. That new beginnings can always be made. That endings will come of their own accord, especially when you give it time.
One of the works that has always given me an inspiration to get back in line, has been “If”. The first time I read it, was for the recital in middle school. Since then, the words have been echoing in my mind. And this is what Rudyard Kipling wrote to his son, 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 impostors 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 worn-out 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 breathe 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!”
…..or as would apply to me “a Woman, my daughter!”
“If—” is a poem written in 1895by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. First published in the “Brother Square Toes” chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling’s 1910 collection of short stories and poems. The lines have found their way in various artworks and creative forms of expressions. For Wimbledon followers, the poem’s line, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” is written on the wall of the Centre Court players’ entrance.
In Kipling’s autobiography, Something Of Myself, published in 1937, the year after his death at the age of 70, he acknowledges the inspiration for If in a single reference: ‘Among the verses in Rewards was one set called If – they were drawn from Jameson’s character, and contained counsels of perfection most easy to give.’ [Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1146109/The-remarkable-story-Rudyard-Kiplings-If–swashbuckling-renegade-inspired-it.html#ixzz1ValrlTpA]
Through the years, these lines still have a powerful hold on me. It gets me going through the tough days and aids in getting myself on track.
On a different track for a minute, who ever said that poetry doesn’t demand creativity !! Below is If by Communication Design studentTrysten Coblenz in the Emily Carr University Grad 2009 Catalogue.
Above, was If as a “wordle”.
And an “If” tattoo by Cam von Cook of Osborne Village Ink (including some misspellings).
There are many more various representations of “If”. More than half a century old, it still holds true and has a profound meaning. And even till my hair grays, it shall be one of my favorite poems.
Meanwhile, what inspires you to get back on track ? What are your inspirational lines ? What keeps you going through the difficult days?