Pollyanna and Charles Bukowski



“ (don’t get me wrong,
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism
that overlooks all
basic problems just for
the sake of
this is a shield and a
sickness.) ”

– Charles Bukowski Let It Enfold You


I like to think of myself of an optimist.

I am sure there are people who I have known in the past who would be surprised at this statement, because I haven’t always been this way.

Optimism is not my natural state,

or maybe it is. Maybe I just lost it somewhere along the way.


Optimists, I think, get a bad rap, because people immediately think of a Pollyanna-style, sickeningly sweet positivism, just as Bukowski speaks of in the quote above.


That’s not what I am talking about.


I’m talking about choosing to seek out the light instead of focusing always on the dark.


It’s something I work on,  looking for that light.


I work on it because it is easy to dip my toe in some past memory and before I know it I am fully submerged,

And drowning in the past is not going to get me anywhere.


I work on it because a simple sentence can trigger in my mind an entire series of unfortunate events in the future, none of which are real.


There are times of course when it doesn’t work.

When hormones, or brain chemistry is against me and the light is blocked.


There are things in my life beyond my control which can’t help but cloud things a little. Or a lot.



But I keep seeking.


And in the wonderful moments where happiness or peace enfolds me, I let it.


Oh, I let it.


The Bukowski poem to which I refer in this post can be found here. It is brilliant and beautiful and too long to re-post here in it’s entirety. I suggest you take a look.


Do you see my glass in the photo above? It may be empty, but when the light hits it there are rainbows.

How’s your glass looking? Are you an optimist?








6 responses to “Pollyanna and Charles Bukowski

  1. On the most part I am an optimist. Our family is experiencing a bit of instability and potential upheaval at the moment and all I can do is see it as a challenge and a new start rather than dreading it. I like that poem.

    • May you rise to the challenge then Erin. I hope things work out for you and your family. xx

  2. Pingback: Fifteen minutes | The Drugstore Notebook·

  3. Pingback: Words For The Weekend (The Poetry Edition. Plus Gus, Johnny, Shel and Nina), Volume 38 | Running On Sober·

  4. I really adore this, and you have nailed my outlook on life as well.

    Love the photo of the empty glass. That’s the only way the light and rainbows get through! My blog name Running on Sober is inspired by the song Running on Empty. But I joke and say that I’m not empty though, just sober. 🙂

    Very happy to find your blog too! I’ll be poking around and enjoying.

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