reverb11: aha, more about Bukowski

Prompt for: Ah ha: What deep thought struck you this year?  How did it change you? (Meredith's Daily Angst)

I started journaling this year as part of the Pathfinder course and it helped to remind me why I love writing by hand. I also appreciated Karen's approach to journaling. My "to-do" lists and grocery lists are in the margins of thoughts about a billboard I noticed. There are tea and coffee stains aplenty and places where my pen sat too long on the page. All of this makes for a "lived-in" journal. Writing by hand I think more slowly, pay attention to what is in my brain at the moment my pen is moving and that is all I can capture. Throughout my journal over and over again is the sentiment from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart", that I have written and talked so much about, and in particular the first lines, "Your life is your life." 


My hand, photo by me


I carried these words like a mantra, as well as "Be on the watch." This poem inspired my Word of 2012 and also forced me to look at the ways I was holding myself back and not truly seeing the beauty, the hope and the possibilities in my daily life. 

Bukowski's entire poem is a statement of standing out, of being your best self. It also requires some responsibility on your part. "Know it while you have it," Bukowski urges. 

your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

When these words really began to sink in to my heart, when I thought about what they meant for me, what they could mean for me, whenI made choices for my own happiness, I realized how much of who I am is tied up in others' validation, recognition and approval of me. I thought I'd moved past a lot of that baggage. But I suppose there are pieces of me that feel like I have something to prove to everyone, even myself. 

there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.

There is power, in hope; that's what I've learned. 

There may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.