be on the watch

I am so in love with this poem right now. It embodies all I need to be reminded of and all that I want to be.  

The Laughing Heart

by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

In December, I chose my word of the year: thrive. I write about my motivations behind that choice and the challenges I've faced while trying to live by it in this post. As a writing teacher, I strongly believe in revision and changing one's mind, but I've struggled with a new word to define the rest of the year and perhaps the year to come. Then two things happened. The first is I began Chookooloonks' Pathfinder Course , which has been great so far and I'm enjoying journaling by hand. As part of assignment in the course, I was looking for a poem or quote that represented a vision board I'd made, something powerful. Then, one day last week as I was prepping for a lecture on advertising, I stumbled across this Levi's ad which uses this Bukowski poem and as soon as I heard it, I knew exactly which poem it was. Since then, I've been reading it, writing it in my journal and repeating lines of it throughout the day.


I kept repeating a few lines: "Be on the watch" and "you are marvelous; the gods wait to delight in you." 

I hope to be worthy of that last line. I want to marvel, to be astonished and surprised. I have felt so numbed out and going through the motions of work lately, that I feel as though I need a shock to  the system, something like jumping into cold water. This poem, for some reason, is the equivalent. 

Your life is your life. 

Hell yeah, it is.