Thursday, February 7, 2008

How Straight the Gate in Big Bend

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite
contact artist for availability

It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments, the scroll. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
My father used to quote this last stanza from William Ernst Henley's poem "Invictus", and for some reason it has been rolling around in my head lately. I don't think Henley was a Christian, because within the poem he mentions "horror of the shade" which to me implies no life after death. In fact, if I remember right, Henley was a humanist and his poem was considered blasphemy. Now I am wondering why my Daddy liked the poem so much....hmmmmm.
This painting is a combination of two places - the gate was seen in Wyoming and the buttes are from Big Bend, Texas - I have created my own little place here - much as I am doing in the new studio, which now has a roof ridge!

Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

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 circumstances,
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 straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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