When the shit has hittith the fan my philosophy is to take it like a woman and to clean up later. Because you know that’s where character’s needed right? The clean up. But when things are a bit shaky I also draw on two lines written by a Victorian poet and a man with a beautiful voice. The words are from “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley and Morgan Freeman is the one speaking them. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” In my mind there is nothing more powerful than that. The belief that you have the power to make things better, and if not, at least the will to trudge right on through to the other side. After the poem I also tell myself that “this” will not break me. Perhaps it’s my own little prayer but man, the comfort it provides it indescribable.
All the talk of lyrical words also bring forth thoughts of spirituality. I’m sure that many faiths frown upon it but as a Burmese Theravada Buddhist, I’ve been raised to also believe in a little bit of magic. Perhaps it’s because we know that so many things are out of our control, we arm ourselves with a bit of the mystic. Whether it becomes true or not, the practice of drawing on the gifts of individuals who may have access to another realm is not reduced to nonsense. I appreciate that, the world is far too serious already. Plus, it’s become somewhat of a ritual, that when I’m in Yangon I consult with the fortune teller, a woman I met when I was fifteen and last saw when I was twenty-eight. Her face is pure light, her aura is very beautiful. It’s all in good fun and I like having brunch with my family afterwards. If you’re going to have Burmese fish soup (mohinga), it always tastes better at a cafe downtown, on a wooden stool, in the middle of so much life.
I’ve also had a long-term relationship with astrology. I was that girl who looked up the sign of her high school crush and tried to figure out how to go about speaking to him. Judging from my list of boyfriends (one, the one who became my husband), I was a bit shy and awkward during that time and didn’t end up speaking to most of them. The idea that all born within a three week time-frame would have similar characteristics is somewhat silly, but those who take these things seriously know that the rising sign and moon sign make an attempt at drawing out the nuances. Either way, I occasionally read my monthly horoscope at the back of fashion magazines. While I chuckle and hope that those new opportunities do come my way, I am aware that working towards it is a necessary part of it all.
There are a million different ways to come to terms with the unknown. Some people worry and others feel that they have answer before it’s even been delivered. I always remind myself to ask for what I want and have the flow to change course when necessary. After all, what are captains if they are not leaders.