Sir Michael Caine recently reads “If . . . .”, and reflects on life:
“The ‘Iliad’ is only great because all life is a battle, the ‘Odyssey’ because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle.”
— G. K. Chesterton
This is 110% the truth:
I’ve been away from the blog for too long, so I’ll get everything up to speed:
–Belatedly . . . Happy Easter!
–A big congratulations to this year’s Rondo Award winners, announced just this past Sunday night. My book I Cannot, Yet I Must did not win in its category but I honestly did not expect that it would. The competition was stiff indeed, and the winner and runners-up are absolutely deserving. Myself, I’m still just tickled to be a nominee and that I can forever call myself a Rondo-nominated author.
–With Easter recently celebrated and springtime here, it’s time to post some exuberant music. And I can’t imagine anything more exuberant than this thundering, brain-melting, blistering performance by Simple Minds from Newcastle, England in 1982. Enjoy!
And here’s another “If,” recited by Robert Morley and with travelogue footage by Chris Marker. Which makes it a little surreal. But it’s still “If.”
Abbreviated, but still a very nice version by Harvey Keitel with Gustav Holst music. Keitel’s facial expressions are minimalist, and yet they add volumes. What a performance, what an actor.
Ennio Morricone, with Susanna Rigacci:
Dennis Hopper recites “If”:
Dennis Hopper again recites “If”:
Rudyard Kipling’s “If” has been raked over many coals for supposedly reeking of class privilege, and for its associations with having an English stiff upper lip. In truth, it is universal in its message and ignoring its advice would be a perfect way to fail in life.
My maternal grandfather was a rancher and a completely able man in all areas and, when I graduated from high school, I got a card from him with the text of “If.” With a strong Irish background in his family, I can guarantee that he did not love the poem for its Englishness. He loved the poem because Kipling distilled goodness and success down to its essence as few ever have.
by Rudyard Kipling
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 a 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!
“Determine never to be idle. . . It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Credit where it is due, I got these quotes from a great blog post by Steve Pavlina about having a good work ethic.