Louis MacNeice was an irish poet, a contemporary of W.H. Auden . I reproduce a poem written by him here as it gives me strength on those desparate moments when I feel that a cyclone of "life" is sucking me in its vortex.It helps me in realising that at the other side of all the despair, frustration and failures ....life remains our only chance to redeem ourselves, to purify ourselves and to cleanse ourselves of our weaknesses. And we live this life with all our disappointments and despair, yet not lose our innate faith on ourselves. Every misfortune only makes us stronger, every grief steels our heart ever more and every battle we lose makes us more determined.
The cynic would say that in the course of our journey, we only move from one frustration to another, from one despair to another, from one pain to another, from one sorrow to another, from one disappointment to another, from one hopelessness to another. Only for some fleeting moments, we are allowed to be happy – “Happiness” as Thomas Hardy said, after all “is an occasional episode in the general drama of pain”. But that does not mean that we take our frustrations and despair and disappointments for granted and resign ourselves to our fate, knowing fully well that“Alike for those who for today prepare,
and for those who after a tomorrow stare
A Muezzim cries from the tower of darkness
Fools, your reward is neither here nor there.”
No, the strength and determination are certainly not for any imaginary victory over an imaginary foe, not even against ourselves. It is only to realise that despite everything, just to be living is an wonderful experience. So here I begin once again, heartbroken after one more disappointment...full of hope for the next assignment ; praying that they do not turn me into a stone....ever.
PRAYER BEFORE BIRTH by Louis MacNeice
" I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.
I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.
I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.
I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.
I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.
I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.
I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.
Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me."