Seems like a great day to celebrate two kinds of victory.
“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – variations on these words, attributed to so many people. Easy to utter if not facing defeat, elimination or sudden death …
Thrills of victory, spills and defeats. In face of great difficulty, courage is something we admire but seldom experience. We see it in others.
We always know it when we see it.
Still, ultimately we all face an end of some sort. End of thrill, end of game, end of tournament of life, facing elimination – or just second place, if we are scared of what is in front of us – and we can’t go back. There is only one way to go. Forward. To life’s arena, competing for everything we get – this has been reality of humans for millennia. We are always vulnerable, always balancing strength and weakness, always at risk of losing everything.
We don’t see big picture very well, or often because we see our view, our life, our contests, our challenges – ourselves and our teammates, friends, family, colleagues. Still, in our darkest most fearful moments, we feel alone. We are alone. Only we can shoulder our burdens. Nobody can do it for us.
Like most Canadians who care at all about hockey, and many who just care about being Canadian, proud of our athletes – up early to watch gold medal men’s hockey game began at 5:10AM Calgary time. Winning gold, is synonymous with Canadian pride, our game, our country, our gold medal … a solid 3-0 victory.
Contrasts in courage – as we see the close of another winter Olympics, celebrating hard work and talent, perseverance and athletic excellence, the best in the world.
I’ll skip watching the closing ceremonies . . .
Later this morning I’m heading out to meet and interview someone.
I’m told she is a shy woman, dying of cancer, wants to tell her story so others can have better information about strategies for being supported to stay home, finish living at home, to die at home.
Somehow games and medals – so important in so many ways – seem secondary.
There is no universal thought for any of this, but actor John Wayne said it well, “Courage is being scared to death . . . and saddling up anyway.”
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -21C / -6F, light snow, brrrrr, clear, calm, colder than yesterday, more slippery. I didn’t fall, but Gusta spun out a couple of times which looks funny but I’m sure her falls are just as shocking to her as mine are to her. We walked back home very carefully …
Like many others, I’m sure, I had to click the link to your Olympic dreams. There is romance in your soul, my friend, and ink in your veins. I am keen to see what comes next, RH, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark, I liked this musing - and so true - nice to have a reminder and inspirational thoughts and words. You are a very gifted writer. Will re read a few times! Look forward to tomorrow's message - have a good weekend, DL, Invermere, BC