General Babbles · life lessons

Now: Bukowski, thoughts, and not conquering my fears.

Now is a poem written by Charles Bukowski, here is an excerpt:

“I sit here on the 2nd floor
hunched over in yellow
still pretending to be
a writer.
some damned gall,
at 71,
my brain cells eaten
away by

I’ve heard that people don’t like Bukowski because they think he was just a drunkard and a bastard. Perhaps he was, I don’t know the guy, but his poetry makes me feel like I’m not the only person that feels fucked and perverse sometimes. Somehow, this man has helped me find my voice. I’m not like Sylvia Plath. I can’t write with patience and perfectionism, and I read somewhere that she cared a lot about the structure of her poetry and she wrote slowly and carefully. I just write what I think and a lot of the times it comes out messy and arrogant. I thought I was a bad writer, but I’m not! I can’t be a good or bad writer because I’m just a little girl playing pretend. I suppose that means it doesn’t matter if what I put on this page is a pile of shit, because at least I’m quieting the ruckus between my ears.

These thoughts in my head can be so good and reflective and intelligent, but just as they can be everything positive and good in the world, they have the capability to be little bastards too. They will say things like, “That is so funny, write that down!” and then when I pick up a pencil they get aggressive, “What a load of fucking hogwash. You don’t have anything to say that anyone wants to hear.” Fuck, maybe none of you do want to hear this, maybe you’ve already stopped reading. That is okay, for it only matters that I write. My shitty thoughts are taking a break while I write this, whether or not it has an audience. They’re resting. I didn’t realize I could make them rest and quiet down until I took a Zen Buddhism class. Through the reading and the sitting practice of Zen I was taught that our thoughts are just thoughts but if we give them precedence in our mind then they become heavier than just thoughts. They manifest and become alive. This is about not letting my thoughts hold me down with added weight, because I hold the weight and while I write the weight will remain in my possession and not in the possession of my thoughts.

I shall continue to pretend to be a writer, because I don’t know what else to do.


Getting off of my babbles about the powers of thoughts I would like to share an experience that I had today. In English we had to do a ‘trust walk’. This meant that we led a partner (My partner was patient and lovely) around while they wore a blindfold and then they led us with the blindfold. Not being able to see is one of my biggest fears, and so this brought me tremendous anxiety. My partner was amazing and calm the entire time she was blindfolded. I was not. My partner patiently held my clammy hand, while I tried to breathe deeply and conquer my fears. When we walked up the stairs I was so scared, I felt like a lost child. When we reached the top of the stairs we were on level ground, but i still felt like I would fall off of the edge of something and fall to my death at any point. I was very paralyzed by my irrational fears. I tried to feel my surroundings, but mostly I let my fear get the best of me and just tried to keep from falling. I felt like I missed the point of the assignment, but still enjoyed it. However while walking back(without the blindfold) I looked at the stairs that I had just come up and felt so blessed to have my vision. I felt the preciousness in being able to see, because stairs don’t make me anxious (escalators are another story), but they did when I didn’t have the sense I mainly rely on. It was powerful to me that a task that i do without even realizing it could be a true challenge to someone else. It was a lesson in using other senses, but It might have also been a lesson in gratitude.  I feel proud that I faced my fear, but it’s still a fear. That’s also how I feel about writing, I’m afraid to put it out there, but here I am.  I didn’t conquer anything, I just learned a little bit more about myself and the beast that is my fear. 



One thought on “Now: Bukowski, thoughts, and not conquering my fears.

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