I was musing with a colleague about dealing with the ups and downs of life.  We talked about how it isn’t always the big challenges that weigh you down, but more of the petty issues that drain you of energy.

It reminded me of one of my favorite poems, Shoelace by Charles Bukowski:

...“It’s not the large things that send a man to the madhouse.

Death he’s ready for
or murder, incest, robbery,
fire, flood.
No, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies 
that send a man to a madhouse
Not the death of his love, but a shoelace that snaps
with no time left….

I especially love that last line and think of it when the equivalent of breaking a shoelace occurs in my life.  

When we face large travails, we both seek and receive support to help us cope, but we’re left to process the smaller aggravations on our own.  The next time your “shoelace” breaks at an inopportune moment, recall Bukowski’s line. Vow to keep the small things small so your blood pressure remains low, too.

— beth triplett

Shoelace by Charles Bukowski in Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, 2002

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: