“The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

“The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski from Betting on the Muse

Read by Tom Waits (video)


A question for our e-mail/ Feedly/RSS readers: On yesterday’s post “It’s Not Your Job,” I forgot to close off comments, which led to a short dialogue about if, as readers, you would like the option to leave comments or to “like” posts. Our rationale when starting this new project was, given the post-a-day format, we didn’t want to overwhelm anyone or put pressure or expectations on anyone to like or comment on every post; we thought closing the comments would make it easier on everyone, including ourselves. But, while Words is foremost about the words, it’s also about community and about how words can resonate so strongly with us that we really want to give voice to that emotion.

So I’m asking you, kind reader, do you have an opinion on open comments vs. closed comments? How about likes?

Listen. If you are following us, you like us. We appreciate that. We like you too. But with daily posts, we do not expect you to comment or like daily — but if you would like us to open that door, and at least give you the option, or if you want us to keep the door closed even, please feel free to add your voice to the discussion. We’re in this together, and with daily posts, you and me and Jennie are going to feel pretty close this year — so “say what you want to say, let the words fall out” and talk to us, about commenting, or about anything  … We’ll leave comments AND likes open this week, and we’ll plan a democratic decision to be made next Sunday, Jan. 19.

Check out  yesterday’s comments and then feel free to comment here or there or anywhere this week.

Don’t forget, I’m on Twitter as Christys_Words. Jennie is on Twitter too as daisiesfromdust, and on Facebook as daisiesfromdust.

8 thoughts on ““The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski

    1. If only Tom drank these days, you would be able to channel Buk and have them both. Tom has been sober, wha…, over ten years, maybe closer to 20, I’d have to dig… But no doubt would still have some stories to tell:


  1. I think it was a hospitable and very considerable idea to “turn off likes/comments” in order to free people up (the reader and the authors). It also sounds like you see the many angles here – like how the “likes” are like a “wave” – and are like a thumb up – but then other times they can take on a “different” feel.

    However, I also feel like the blog would be missing out on something very rich by not making room for comments. Partly because the posts are usually rich- and most provoke these feelings in the readers where they want to chime in. And when they are allowed to chime in, it has much potential value, which I will list in a minute – but it also warms up the feel to the blog. Sometimes (not saying there is now) but sometimes there is a sterile, controlled feel when the options are shut down – and while it frees people up in one sense, it also has a rigid feel that will continue to dictate how the blog develops and grows. It is not necessarily a bad thing – but a blog without that option will develop with a much different feel then a blog that has active comments. And it may even feel more like a website or newsletter – where you read, enjoy, and then move on.

    Now I am new to wordpress and really have only been exposed to the likes and very active commenting that goes on here since the summer (about 6 months) and so after a few years of it I may feel different. But right now, I think it has so much value. I have gotten to know a few people that have changed my life – and it was because of the comment section. I have also stumbled upon other bloggers front he comments they have left – and that also has been enriching.

    I do not always read any or all of the comments on people’s blogs – I mean – just not enough time – especially for blogs that have 100 or more comments. But when I can skim the comments – well sometimes they make the post come alive – like adding color to a black and whit photo. Sometimes the comments are even better than the actual post. Sometimes the personal notes shared by the readers and the tidbits that come up from the post author(s) – well as you so well know, it becomes this slice of social exchange that is priceless and RICH!

    Now I could be wrong on this, but I think you should try not to carry the load of feeling like you need to respond to every comment. It is nice when you can reply – and hey, I know we all sometimes reply within a reply and all that – but don’t carry that heavy weight of having to reply – especially as the followers increase – because the pressure will steal the beauty. Also, remember that some comments really do not need any follow up – they are more just a thought or reply that can sit alone – and other readers can either ignore or read.
    And then even the comments that could maybe use a follow up – well it is also perfectly okay if you cannot reply because you have to draw boundaries with time and all that. It is not inhospitable – it is just practical. Although I must also add that I think it is nice when Christy replied to my comments – when she had enough going on with her regular followers – but still made time to greet a newby.
    And even recently I noted that one of you left a note to new followers -(so nice) and there is this outreach feel here that is warm and inclusive – and it is pretty amazing. I mean, even now you are asking your readers to give advice about the choice you are pondering.

    In closing, don’t forget that your readers are also big boys and big girls – and they may not feel as much pressure as you are projecting onto them – like I recently told one of my followers that I knew he was an atheist and when he started following my blog -well I really pondered – especially when my next few posts came up – I had a concern to be hospitable to him – and wanted to be careful before I said God this or God that. But then I realized that he is a big boy and he can always UNfollow – and I also realized that what maybe drew him to my blog was the genuine way I wrote – and if that integrated God and faith at times, well not only did he know that, but he also could just skip over it when/if it annoyed him.

    So I guess my point is that it is nice to be hospitable to our readers, but you also need to do what aligns with the mission of the blog and author – and like for me, my blog is a “personal” blog where I want to share about my life – which sometimes includes God – but it is not a work blog or a politically correct outreach – and so that helped me when I saw my followers vary.

    And for this blog, with a daily mission to share about “Words … and sometimes art and other times music” – well I think you should leave the comments and like open, but also make a disclaimer page stating that you both will not comment back daily (cause that will drain you fast) and maybe commit to once a week of skimming comments – but let it play – and see what unfolds… 🙂


      1. I hear ya, when I have time at a real keyboard, I can pound it out pretty fast. These phone keyboards– even though I’m getting faster every day– are still tough. I’m grateful for them though, otherwise often I wouldn’t be able to comment or respond at all.

        I especially liked what you said about big boys and girls. I don’t need to “protect” your time or choices; it’s not mine to protect or shield anyway.

        You brought up excellent points for both sides, and again, I thank you. Enjoy your week, Y. -Christy

        Sent from my iPhone



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