When it’s our turn, right before the final breath, we’ll be handed a piece of paper. At the bottom right hand corner will be a line waiting for a pen to scribe our initials.
Your initials there will attest to the fact that this was your life and, moreover, how you chose to live it.
At that moment, the realization may come that you could have tried other things, experienced other venues, learnt other subjects . . . been more alive.
To that end, here is a poem which I have read many times before, but this morning it has almost taken on a life of its own. It is by Charles Bukowski and is entitled, ‘Roll the Dice’. This poem has teeth, fangs, that remain hidden until that time when circumstances have opened you up and you become raw . . . and – vulnerable.
if you’re going to try, go all the way. this could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs and maybe your mind. go all the way. it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days. it could mean freezing on a park bench. it could mean jail, it could mean derision, 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. do it, do it, do it. do it. all the way, all the way. you will ride life straight to perfect laughter, it’s the only good fight there is.
Got a pen?