Who are you, really?

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.

@Charles Bukowski

You know, I read that poem and I am filled with tears. That poem reminds me of why I love words and why I write. Honestly, I do not write to sell thousands of books. I do not write to please others. I write for my life. If I do not write, I feel empty. I feel lost as if I am just floating around in the world unattached to anything. I go through the motions of life and living, but it is as if I cannot fully process the day until I write something. I don’t know if it is because I have a lesion in my brain that is screwing with me, but in the end, I don’t care. I need these moments. I need to fucking feel something by the words that I read.

I’m in a rut when it comes to what I want to read. Thus, I am in the down time of writing as well. It’s in these times that I consume myself with superhero television, science fiction, and video games. I’ve also taken up comic book reading lately–that hasn’t let me down. It surprised me the first time I felt something from reading a comic. I live for the moment when words can make me gasp or I have to re read it several times, or listen to it several times, because I know that I got what they said. I got it, I fucking felt it to my bones and if Matt Murdock was here and listening, he’d know my fucking heart skipped a beat at the sound. (For those of you that don’t know he is Daredevil and he can hear heartbeats to judge people’s emotions.)

your life is your life, know it while you have it

That portion of the poem stuck with me today. Earlier, I had a conversation with my daughter, as we often do. She will be turning ten in a few weeks and she isn’t looking forward to it. She’s told me on several occasions that turning ten seems like a big step as if she isn’t a little kid anymore now. I told her, you are a kid for as long as you want to be. I’m a thirty-five year old kid myself.

But, today, we were listening to the song Make a Shadow by Meg Myers. My daughter really liked the lyric, “I want to be a kid again.” She said upon hearing that line, “Man, she knows me. I feel that way.”

The more she listened to the song, she said that a few times at the lyrics. Then she said from the back seat of the car, “You know, she doesn’t really know me. No one can really know another person can they? I mean, I don’t know my best friend all the way. I don’t even know you.”

Driving the car, my jaw dropped. Then I responded. “You know, you’re right. The only person we can really know is ourselves. Even as you’re turning ten, you are learning more about yourself though. You will always be learning about yourself as you grow. It’s life. I’m still meeting and knowing myself. My writing helps with that, but you can know people that you love, but you need to give yourself as much time as you give to others. You can be your own best friend… and by having thoughts like you just did, you will always have things to think about and get to know.”

So, it’s awesome how the universe works. I’ve had a pretty crazy/hectic/off the wall kind of day. But, that conversation and the Bukowski poem, reminded me of what’s important. Knowing yourself and those you love. Everything else is just the bullshit that life throws at you. When you don’t let that affect what’s going on inside and the growth you’re having, that is called beating the shit out of the dank submission that is forced upon your life. Live it and love it.

Know it while you have it. That is some great advice Mr. Bukowski.

My daughter and I thank you. 🙂

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