37: "Piss & Vinegar"

My father is the epitome of "you can take the boy out of the Bronx but not the Bronx out of the boy."  He's lived a lot of life.  Every crease on his face is a scar from experience.  When he was visiting us over Thanksgiving break, he was telling me about his semi-retired lifestyle and how he doesn't have the desire or ambition like he once had. 

"When I was young, I used to be full of piss and vinegar!", he exclaimed.

It was sort of poignant, as I suddenly thought of myself at 71 years old.  Will I mourn my lack of vigor?  Or will I proudly look back at all that I've done and know that I put my own piss and vinegar to good use?

This then got me thinking of one of my favorite Charles Bukowski poems.  Actually, one of my favorites of all poems, entitled "Roll the Dice".  In it, Bukowski gives a straight forward pep talk about doing the things you want to do and going "all the way".  Not half way.  Not just enough of the way.  All the way or don't even bother!

As I sit and type this, I've got a pretty big hurdle to jump.  15 films to complete in a little over 30 days.  It's quite a challenging position I've put myself in.  But I know I have absolutely zero choice but to go all the way.  Although 37 films in a year are more than some filmmakers complete in a lifetime, I can't stop now.  It's not enough to go 3/4 of the way.  Even 51 films would be failure.  It's 52 or bust.

I have to go all the way for many reasons and I've added new one to the list.  It's because I don't want to be looking back at my life and say "I wish I had finished when I was full of piss and vinegar."

I had to abridge (hack) Bukowski's poem to fit the 60 second time constraint.  Here's the full text below:

Roll The Dice by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, its
the only good fight
there is.