Monday, August 22, 2011

The Madness and the Magic


He is my personal evidence that there is always something new under the sun if you look. Yeah, he's dead now and plenty of people were aware of him a long time ago. But he's new to me.

I'm reading my second book of poetry by him. Sometimes he can be bore, but other times he completely blows me away.

See, he is familiar to me. I've known a lot of people who have lived like him. Many of his words are my own thoughts.

He writes often of a madness among people. And a certain kind of magic that is waiting to be wielded.

His poetry is full of the madness and the magic.

The madness is defined by how we live our lives in that quiet desperation other poets have written about, it is the trap. The magic is the seizing of the day, the escape. We trap ourselves into lives that slowly kills us, numbs us, sucks everything of worth from our souls. But the magic gives us peace, frees us.

One of Bukowski's observations is that you can't have it all. Sometimes you may have to cut off some limbs. It is painful. We fear the pain, so we stay in the trap.


There is a Christian musician who married into a family full of worship. He had children with his beautiful wife. He wrote many hit songs proclaiming the greatness of God.

One day he made a public statement that he was gay. That he had been lying to himself and everyone around him for over thirty years. He was finally ready to live an honest life, to free himself of a great burden.

He is now divorced. I found a website online with a recent song of his, something about how no one can tell him what to do, how to live his life. He seems happy, though his children and ex-wife are likely confused and full of turmoil.

Bukowski would probably congratulate this man and declare loudly, "What took you so long?"

I'm sure that this musician is taking care of his children financially and visits them. I don't know how old they were when he freed himself. But that's a long time to stay in the trap, to dance with the madness. He is free now. It was probably a painful amputation, and he probably tries to scratch where the limb once was. Some people probably hate him for what he put his family through.

But sometimes, it takes sacrifice to set things right.

The madness and the magic, live happy or die miserable.


Anonymous said...

To cut of a limb... How true isn't that and how much haven't I struggled, how much don't I still struggle with it? Did you ever see 127 hours or read the book it's based on? The image of a man stuck with his arm under stone. The realization that he needs to cut off his arm to survive. It haunts me. Cutting off your arm is harder than you might think. Even if it's just an image.

hound said...

Oh hi!

I saw a comment listed and I was like, "Someone stopped by and left a comment! Who would do that?"

I did see the movie, or at least one inspired by it. The guy was running around in the desert like a fool. Happy, but a fool none the less. It was hard watching him try everything he could think of. Somehow you just knew that there was only one way out and he was aware of it the whole time, but we cling to the things we are familiar with, the things that have become a part of our lives.

Every time I have ever walked away from a job I felt like I had lost something that could not live without.

Loving the Velvet Cafe!