nobody can save you but yourself.

by Joanna D.


I have never read Charles Bukowski before.

I’ve heard the name several times over this last year, but I never took the time to crack a book or even look him up. It’s funny too because I held a Bukowski book in my hand, kept track of it and placed it on set during the filming of the Bhakti Boy. Used as a prop, and I’m pretty sure some character source material, it had obviously been handled and read several times. Pages turned, dog-eared and passed through. The words within obviously contemplated to a sincere degree. I have never read Charles Bukowski before, yet the words found in the poem below have come to me, in some form, many, many times over the course of my study with David Garrigues. He teaches me yoga – yes – the asana, breath, technique, the eight limbs, the lineage. But he has given me quite a gift in teaching me to look inside. To value who I am. “Maintain your self with humor and grace.” He’s probably not ever said those words directly, but he may as well have.

I’m a fortunate being. It can be easy to lose site of that from time to time. Yet a small piece of paper tucked into a birthday package from my mother with some of these words on it and I realize I have been given a lifetime of tools and gifts to work with. And to share.

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy.

“nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and /or die quietly

nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.
your spiritual self.
your gut self.
your singing magical self and
your beautiful self.
save it.
don’t join the dead-in-spirit.

maintain your self
with humor and grace
and finally
if necessary
wager your self as you struggle,
damn the odds, damn
the price.

only you can save your

do it! do it!

then you’ll know exactly what
I am talking about.”

~ Charles Bukowski