The Road

The Laughing Heart

What matter most is how well you walk through the fire
— Charles Bukowski


I used to read some of Charles Bukowski's poems in my mid-twenties. While Jack Kerouac (another great American poet) used to make me want to hit the road and go traveling, reading Bukowski always made me want to have a drink and somehow, to rebel. His nothing-to-lose truthfulness on his poems made him a cult hero. At least for me in my drunk mid-twenties years.

When I first read The Laughing Heart, there was a rebellious, hopeful and strong sentiment about this poem that always made me kick the ass out of fear, and somehow do what I wanted. Even if in some of these decisions were accompanied by my coffee cup full of red wine and a few chupitos. Just like Bukowski himself. I was doing what I wanted. 

Well, my twenties are long gone,  and so are the chupitos, but the poetry stayed. 

Bukowski's The Laughing Heart poem is one of my all-time-favourite and it continues to touches me deeply.  It is an amazing piece of poetry.

Here it is;


The Laughing Heart


"your life is your life

don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

be on the watch.

there are ways out.

there is 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."

                                                                                                                 by Charles Bukowski


The quote “Clubbed into dank submission” is a feeling that I can relate to pretty well, dealing with depression and the occasional sadness that knocks my door from time to time, sometimes it’s very difficult to remember that your life really is your life to live. 

This poem is one of the powerful tools that I use to boost my mood and lift myself up. It has helped me through some grey moments. It has made me get up in the morning and do stuff, it reminds me that there is hope out there. There is a light somewhere. That your life is yours to live, know it while you have it. You are marvelous and this poem is a beauty.

Be well folks, be on the watch. 

Roddy X

The Road Goes Forward

Road between Chile and Argentina
Everything passes
Everything changes
Just do what you think you should do
— Bob Dylan


The road is full of curves and it goes forward

Back in 2010 while living in North West London, I was bartending in a pretty cool bar and I was also taking some workshops of documentary making at London City University. That year, to skip a piece of the winter, I decided to spend 1 month in Cuba. Apart from the tourist resorts destinations, I covered up a good chunk of the island in February. 

Having spent the last 3 years prior that sharing a house (Casambuca) with 2 Argentinean, friends of mine, I was speaking ‘Portunhol’ quite well and I could interact more with the locals. I met a lot of interesting folks, most of them were either a musician or a doctor. No joke. 

I remember talking to a lot of folks one night at 'Casa de La Trova' down in Santiago de Cuba, and what made me really think was that most of the people I met there, were happy. I don't mean 6/7 mojitos happy as I was most of the time, I mean proper happy. The funny thing is that some of them seem to have a fine amount of that on Monday mornings too. 

I started to wonder

Hang on a minute! Shall I study medicine, become a doctor and drive a taxi as a second job or become a musician and have a second job as a tour guide and received second-hand t shirts as payments? 

Both of it had the kind of happiness I was looking for. Any of them would do really as I remember being so tired of self-criticism and self-judgments, nothing wasn't really good and really satisfying. Obviously, I didn't know back then what I know today, and being flooded with information and opportunities didn't help me either.  

I am not glamorizing communism and poverty, but Cuba's raw simplicity made me question myself if I really needed to chase all the stuff I was chasing. Why was I never satisfied and being so hard on myself? What is it that you need to be happy? I had countless booze filled conversations with my friends on that topic.  

I continue to wander and I start to research.

Anyways, I put the documentary making course inside my Ikea blue bag full of stuff that I started and never finished and decided to truly chase what I really wanted. One thing I knew for sure, I didn't want to be part of the highly competitive and comparative society I was in. At least not full time. I got bored of it. 

I changed roads

Soon after that I also realized that to choose what you love and actually follow it its a pretty difficult business. Sometimes you love a lot of stuff, sometimes you don't love stuff enough. While I was most in doubt, I started chasing what made me the happiest. And even if that sounds silly, immature, naive, hard to achieve and Impossible at first. I kind of knew that If I was chasing something that was meaningful to me I would stop being so hard on myself.

I knew I could do anything from flipping burgers to pourin' pints that It would be acceptable to me.  Not that there is something wrong on pourin' pints, I actually love it, but as I was getting older (age wise) I had a kind of pressure on me saying that I wasn't good enough. Somehow knowing that at least I was doing that to achieve something bigger, I felt better and stop caring if what others would think of it. 

Fuck it, let's go traveling! 

Since then I have tried to spent every penny I make on travel. I did a ton of different things in the past years, I worked as a bartender,  as a bar manager, did some gardening, I was DJing 'hock and holl' on weekends, worked in factories, sold art paints online and much more. 

I used to take long holidays of 2, 3 and sometimes 4 months and go traveling somewhere to continue my research. 

Sometimes fear of me getting old without any financial stability would knock my door but the experiences I was getting from the road made my life a lot richer.

The road that had a large curve in Cuba. The same road that sometimes gets dirty, dark and rainy and more curves. Sometimes also gets blue skies days and has a giant ball of fire illuminating everything around. 

The road changes. We change. It all changes. All the time 

The same road taught me that the only and true sense of responsibility we actually need to make sure to have is to keep on driving, moving, going forward, toward that imaginary goal you created with all the little things you love that makes you a better and and a happier person. We can slow down, drive only 5, 10 km per hour, and if something happens and you must stop, stop. It's okay. Have a look around. Once you feel like driving again you drive. But try drive towards something that makes you happy. 

What is it that makes you happy?

Think about it. And in case you don't know or have any doubts, hit the road. 

Join the club. 

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
— Arthur Ashe

The Road is Life

Texas Usa

Texas Usa

The road is life
— Jack Kerouac

Hi and welcome to my first blog post.

The road for me is where life happens. 

Firstly I must say that I am still quite brand new on this “living with spinal cord injury, blogging and wheelchair travelling” and as amongst many other things in life, I will learn it during the process, while making it. I am glad I figured out what I am gonna do, now I just need to figure out how I am gonna make this happen, but that is the fun part.

This is kick off journey where I am gonna blog about going back to the road.

I hope there will be someone out there that will benefit and learn something from it.

Anyways, I hope you are all well and thanks for being here.

Roddy X