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I’ll give you a little hint…it’s NOT our alcoholism.

What we have in common is the great fact that mind-numbing boredom will drive us to do crazy shit!  Bukowski, who was the ultimate outsider, (he was never even really a part of the Beat poets he’s always associated with) spent 20 years hopping from odd jobs to boarding houses to working as a mail guy in L.A. (I shudder to even think about what that looked like on a daily basis) and drinking and dying his way through it.  And he was talented. You doubt? Try reading Post Office. But the problem (and this is just opinion) is that his disease may have gotten the better of him.  Despite this, he was known to say something to the effect of: If you’re worried about selling your soul (and you know it) then at least you’ve still got a soul left to sell, so good for you!

Today is the perfect day to be inspired by something.  It may require sustained effort, or hard work. It may ask you to challenge yourself or to try to do something you aren’t sure you’re capable of. But it’s worth it! Because we don’t get sober to live ordinary lives. I (probably) could have done that Bukowski-style, just hopping from one meaningless job to the next and skulking around Los Angeles for another 20 years. But instead, here I am, in Austin, Texas. I haven’t showered in two days. Whatever writing brain I have left has by now disintegrated completely beneath the rat’s nest I’m calling hair, and I’ve filled out so many forms and papers and paragraphs that they all seem to bleed together now in a disinterested dissertation on ‘How to start a business.’  And it occurs to me (in some distant place that’s like the time-share in your brain that you never really have time to use) that the whole business of starting a non-profit is complete lunacy, because after all, it’s NOT going to make you rich…thus, the non-profit.  But with enormous effort, I call my brain back from that fuzzy tropical time-share and put on my bright sunny face (and also probably I shower and wash my hair, get some exercise today, and visit with a friend over lunch.) And though all this feels quite beyond me right now, at 6:34 a.m. when there are still two little people to feed, bathe, clothe and get to school in the next 47 minutes, I know that it will unfold just the way it’s meant to…one breath at a time.

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