An Advice from Charles Bukowski


Dreams are not things that we find in sleep but things that make us cannot sleep. In pursuing our dreams we often  face mockery, isolation, hatred, prejudice, or underestimation from others. But even when there are no obstacles as such, solitary is a loyal company to those in pursuit of their dreams.

After spending nearly a year writing my first novel in English,  I find solitary my loyal company. I have begun to realize that I have been filling my days with unbearable solitude while juggling time to teach, study, and write. During the last 10 months, how many days have  I spent in solitary? Countless.

On a fine day during the weekend, for example, I would spend the time working on my thesis or revising a chapter of my novel rather than soaking up the sun. At nights, I spent more hours sitting in front of a computer rather than talking to humans. Fortunately, teaching English to international students, a job I have been doing for nearly 4 years, has been a lot of fun. It has kept me sane.

You’re right. I’m not the only one in the world doing this. I’m just one of the millions of daydreamers whose dreams have kept us awake at nights. Yet I am a normal human being too. With the unbearable solitude I’ve been having plus the feeling of being faraway from my family in Indonesia, sometimes I feel like what I’ve been doing are just going to push me to the verge of madness.

But just when I thought that I wanted to stop, I found what Charles Bukowski said soothing:

“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.”

The quote drives me forward amidst my struggle to create a balanced life. Fortunately. :-)

You have dreams too, don’t you? Do tell me yours. I’m all ears. :-)

29 thoughts on “An Advice from Charles Bukowski

  1. Pingback: One Teacher, 11 Students, and Life’s Greatest Lessons « Subhan Zein

  2. Hi Subhan,
    I like Bukowski
    My dream now, in this time, is not to lose my loved
    Or rather, not finish losing her
    A greeting

  3. Subhan, I am utterly pasued….wow! Reading this post, I could not help but wipe a tear of the words shared. I feel a part of me is here on this post. Let me know if there is a need for additional teacher where you are teaching!
    The post is inspiring, indeed. I completely understand the fabric of your heart — solitary moments can feel unbearable, piercing — this is when one learns the wisdom behind the enigma of life. Cannot wait till you have authored your first book. Wishing you abundance of serenity, success and happiness.
    Subhan, so glad we are friends. Cheers.

    • Hi Shaheen! You are absolutely right! It’s very exhausting, not to mention the study that I am currently doing. I’ve been away from my blog for nearly two weeks and I feel so guilty that I haven’t responded to many of the comments that you and the other bloggers have made on my blog.

      I am so glad we are friends too! I cannot wait to one day visit Canada and witness how a wonderful a person you are, my lovely friend! :-)

      Subhan Zein

  4. very wise words, i too believe in his words upto a limit, i believe in starting with the intentions of finishing-determining midway whether i must go the remaining half; sometimes its better to take a turn and live more happily than walking the road we were.

    • Beneran, itu dia yang nulis. Dulu dia cuma update di Blognya 3-4 kali seminggu. Sekarang dia update setiap hari karena dia udah punya storage cerita banyak, tinggal diupload setiap hari sama asisten pribadinya, siapa itu namanya, Monica apa Anastasia yah?. Asistennya berhenti bekerja di Brazil terus pergi ke Spanyol untuk memperkenalkan karya2 Coelho ke penerbit2 Spanyol. Saking cintanya dengan ide2 Coelho dia rela tinggal di apartemen sempit selama beberapa tahun tanpa pekerjaan tetap kecuali memperkenalkan karya-karya Coelho. Sekarang baik sang asisten dan penulisnya sudah jadi multijutawan. :-)

Thank you. An angel smiles every time you leave a comment ♥

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s