(Photo Credit openculture.com)
“Great art is horseshit, buy tacos.” – Charles Bukowski
The man was a goddamned poet. No, literally, he was a poet.
Wait, let’s back up. I was challenged by Tom in his latest piece to participate in a challenge that he completed earlier today. This rules are as follows:
1) Thank the person who nominated you
2) Share a post each day for three consecutive days
3) Explain why you like the quote
4) Nominate three bloggers to play along.
Thanks Tom. It should be obvious that number 2 has already been addressed. What follows will be an attempt at number 3. I have no intention of doing number 4. It’s just not my thing. I am excited that Tom tagged me though, because writing about quotes is fun. I like to see all the different types of stuff folks come up with. So, here we go…
I’ve always loved reading Bukowski. It’s raw, and dirty, and slimy. His work is sticky and uncomfortable. Pain and truth bleed and run down the page producing prose with an unnerving amount of honesty.
We bury ourselves in self-help psychology. We read books and listen to podcasts and search – reaching and stretching – for any glimmer of hope that the insecurity, self-doubt, and self-sabotage that we inflict on ourselves day-in and day-out will someday be alleviated. We pray we find the perfect mantra, or diet, or yogi, or exercise routine. We do what we have been taught to do: We run from danger.
Yet, there is beauty in occasionally plunging into the deep end of the pool; drifting towards the murky bottom. Exploiting our pain and demons for artistic expression. Sometimes we just gotta give in and see where the ‘yuck’ can take us.
That’s when I like to read Bukowski the most. When I’m feeling defeated. When I’m struggling to express myself creatively. When I don’t feel like the trying is worth the effort. I read his words, and I read about his life, and what I take from it is that without trying, without being honest, and without just saying what it is you want to say, you will succumb to it all. The more that you fight back with middle fingers and drunken outbursts, the more chances you get to create something magnificent.
That’s why I like the quote that I posted at the beginning of this. It’s simple. It’s perfect. It’s really how I want to live my life: While some chase the opportunity to interpret the meaning of a dead mans doodles, I’d rather be with you, buying tacos out of a sketchy food truck apologizing again for almost peeing on your dog.
Thanks again Tom.