As we hit the midpoint in the week, which is for many the hardest day to get through, I would like to share with you another poem from Henry Charles Bukowski, Roll the Dice. This is an inspirational poem, in which we are told that we should chase after what we are passionate about. Wholeheartedly. You must have goals and be willing to sacrifice everything and work tirelessly in pursuit of them. If you can do this, the poet explains that the resulting feeling of accomplishment will be unlike anything else which you have experienced. In true Bukowski style, it is honest, gritty and truthful rather than overly positive. He tells us that in chasing our passions, we give meaning and purpose to our lives. However we must also be realistic and understand that there are risks involved. Much in the same way as when a dice is rolled, the outcome of that which we attempt in life cannot be known in advance.
The title reminds us that there are few guarantees and certainties in life. With that in mind, you should follow your passion. Do whatever it is that you secretly desire. Regardless of what it is, do it. When you decide to pursue your goals though, you must devote yourself wholeheartedly to it. No half-measures. There may be hardships and challenges to be overcome, but with persistence you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. The feeling when you accomplish your goals will make it all worthwhile.
“If you’re going to try, go all the way.
Otherwise, don’t even start.
This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.
It could mean not eating for three or four days.
It could mean freezing on a park bench.
It could mean jail.
It could mean derision.
It could mean mockery–isolation.
Isolation is the gift.
All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.
And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.
And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.
If you’re going to try, go all the way.
There is no other feeling like that.
You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
You will ride life straight to perfect laughter.
It’s the only good fight there is.”