June 11, 2011

Even When You’re Happy, You’re Miserable. And You Don’t Have To Be. ~ Charles Bukowski.

Photo: Incase

At this time in my life (as ever), no piece of work has spoken to me more:


no help for that Charles Bukowski

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled

a space

and even during the
best moments
the greatest

we will know it

we will know it
more than

there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled


we will wait

in that

~ You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense, 1986

And isn’t this the truth?  The space haunts me. It follows me around wherever I go, no matter who I’m with, at any given moment. At the darkest moments, it feels like a gaping hole in my small universe. At other times, the space is shallow, but it’s never full.

This space is chronic discontent, not be confused with unhappiness or depression. It is restlessness, a longing for more. It’s fidgeting, constantly going and moving and talking and thinking. For me, it is a fear of never feeling complete or always feeling alone in the world.

Photo: SpaceShoe

I have never beencomfortable in this space. So, I have always tried to fill it. I have filled it with yoga. I have filled it with partying. I have tried to cover it up with romantic relationships, friendships and work.

But even in the best of times, times when I should feel like I have it all, there is a glint of something missing…

I have always thought that I just wasn’t occupying the space with the right things. But, I realize now, the space can never be filled.

As Bukowski writes, there is no help for that. The space will always be with us. What I  need to do  is learn to accept it and face the insecurity, rather than fill it.

The space is not supposed to take us over. It is there to remind us that there is more and there will always be more. It is our motivation to continue searching for those things and people that keep the space small. And  there is nothing wrong with that faint indication of longing…


Allison Barocas is an undergraduate Senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in environmental studies and currently interning with elephant journal. Allison was born and raised on Long Island, New York and completed high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. She loves to spend her free time outdoors, going to concerts, running around Denver and traveling.

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