Over the last few months I have been recovering from a bilateral tendon tear that has kept me from doing just about everything I love to do. Today I was told my orthopedist that I am going to have to repeat the surgery and start from square one. Another surgery, another extended hospital stay and many months of recovery. It’s perhaps one of that darkest days of my life.
I am devastated that I won’t be able to give my keynote at CloudOpen and I won’t get to see all my open source friends. I am blogging this so I can just point to the link because explaining the details to even my closest friends over and over again is very stressful.
I also read this poem everyday. It helps me when things get tough, maybe it can help you on a bad day. It was written by William Ernest Henley who wrote it after losing a leg as as a complication with tuberculosis in the 1800s. While incarcerated on Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela recited the poem to other prisoners and was empowered by its message. What I am facing lacks that gravity but it makes me feel better as I have stood in Mandela’s cell and know as tough as this is, that there are many worse things people have to face. For that I am thankful.
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.