Saturday, January 28, 2017

Life after life, death after death

What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see.

The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view. All I wanted to do was sneak out into the night and disappear somewhere, and go and find out what everybody was doing all over the country. I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. There was nothing to talk about anymore. The only thing to do was to go. 

Somewhere along the line I knew there'd be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me. So I went up and there she was, the girl with the pure and innocent dear eyes that I had always searched for and for so long. We agreed to love each other madly. She was a nice little girl, simple and true, and tremendously frightened of sex. I told her it was beautiful. I wanted to prove this to her. She let me prove it, but I was too impatient and proved nothing. We stopped in unimaginable softness.

I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness. I had nothing to offer anybody, except my own confusion. My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. It all ends in tears anyway.

And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiancies shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotus-lands falling open in the magic moth swarm of heaven. 

Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry. Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.   Life must be rich and full of loving--it's no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone. Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream.

I read his words again, in the waning light of the life I have made for myself.  Was it me living his life, or was it Kerouac living mine, the decade before the light blinded my eyes and they weighed me on a pan before laying me so gently on my mother's breast. He was out there, on the road, laying the path for me to follow. Life after life, death after death.

Jack Kerouac. (March 12, 1922 - October 21, 1969)

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