Tag Archives: the laughing heart

“The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski

I was home all day yesterday, laying on the couch, sick and occupying myself with the most recent episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Because I was watching it on Hulu, I saw the same annoying Levi’s commercial at least 10 times. I’m not even linking it to it because I feel morally opposed to doing so. Still by the 9th time seeing this dang commercial, I finally started listening to the words and realized they were much too transformative to be even remotely connected to jeans. I did a little hunting and found the original poem by Charles Bukowski. Apparently, he was known as a bit of a scoundrel; however, his honest work has inspired many fellow artists, like Sean Penn, Tom Waits, and even Bono.

“The Laughing Heart” speaks to the dark side of all of us–the part of our psyche that wrestles with life’s meaning, that struggles with sadness, depression or even anger. I cannot tolerate trite truisms, so I love that he says, “it may not be much light but it beats the darkness.” If he had simply dismissed life’s harshness with a pep talk, I would have ignored his words outright. Instead I actually feel more hopeful because of his authenticity. It’s in that raw place of acceptance that I am moved to live my life more fully, grateful to be alive and vibrant.

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