Sunday, April 5, 2009
roses of the unborn.
"We all agree it's too big to keep up with, that we're surrounded by life, that we'll never understand it, so we center it all in by swigging Scotch from the bottle and when it's empty I run out of the car and buy another one, period."
- Kerouac, Big Sur, p. 65
"I see myself as just doomed, pitiful– An awful realization that I have been fooling myself all my life thinking there was a next thing to do to keep the show going and actually I'm just a sick clown and so is everybody else– All all of it, pitiful as it is, not even really any kind of commonsense animate effort to ease the soul in this horrible sinister condition (of mortal hopelessness) so I'm left sitting there in the sand after having almost fainted and stare at the waves which suddenly are not waves at all, with I guess what must have been the goopiest downtrodden expression God if He exists must've ever seen in His movie career - Eh vache, I hate to write– All my tracks laid bare itself laid bare, even the realization that they're laid bare itself laid bare as a lotta bunk– The sea seems to yell to me GO TO YOUR DESIRE DON'T HANG AROUND HERE– For after all the sea must be like God...."
- p. 41
I'm finally reading ‘Big Sur' by Kerouac (thanks, Tom!). Whenever I have a spare moment, I attempt to take in a quick chapter - during commercial breaks when Kim and I are mindlessly watching Friends, or at odd intervals, like right now, when I should commence learning OM, but have so foolishly decided to ramble for an odd half hour on my enduring love for Kerouac.
Here's something I scribbled out in the blog that preceded, and I supposed fathered, this one. Oh how I have grown up as a blogger, and how I hope that I might continue to grow...
‘Kerouac makes you want to go traipsing about in the wilderness. He injects the fury of insanity into your soul. He invents his own words, messes with your head, reaches incredible highs, and drinks like no other. When I read his work, I feel like I'm siphoning off some of his soul, swallowing it and planting it in my core. Kerouac is a zany, hell of a brilliant bastard.'
Nothing can quite compare to ‘On the Road' or the effect it had on me as a naive and hopelessly quiet high school junior. Every subsequent Kerouac work that I read simply builds a little, maybe repeats and backtracks over familiar territory at times, but still manages to add a few more shades of meaning and a pinch more spice to the pot. I find understanding in Kerouac when I am both at my best and my worst. I have always been challenged by the fact that I exist, have questioned myself to near desperation, and have nearly been destroyed... but I have also loved, witnessed, and welcomed the beauty that can be inherent to life.
Uncertainty plagues me. The fear of what is or is not to come is ever-present and sick, but the tragedies of life can ultimately be beautiful. I learned this once, crying red rosebud tears, and expecting nothing more from my existence. Only certain kindred souls have approached or acknowledged the same abyss, however dramatic it is to state it so.
Kerouac affirms me. His effervescent passion, such a perfect mingling of glee and pain, is me in written form. ‘Big Sur' is another step, another adventure. I don't know if I can parallel it to this semester just yet - it's far from over. All I know is that I didn't hang around, and I think I'm heading toward my desire... at the very least, I hope so.
Kerouac is not for everyone, but I wholeheartedly recommend you give him a shot nonetheless :)