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“One day I’ll find the right words and they’ll be simple.”
I’ve been mildly infatuated with Jack Kerouac lately (and by mildly I mean, of course, a lot, but trying to play it cool).
And even though he’s been a lover to many, he’s still at the first love stage for me, because—though embarrassed to admit it—I haven’t read him much yet, only bits and pieces, here and there.
I don’t know what his magic is really, maybe the simple, yet uncommon way his thoughts align on paper: like stepping on thin, raw, vulnerable, ice and hearing it break under your feet and being OK with it.
There’s a devastating beauty to it all, like finding yourself among the remains of a perfect storm (or an earthquake), and being imperfectly aligned with a world you see but can’t touch. His words are just the fingers you needed.
I wish I was his first wife, Edie, right now, sipping coffee in retro 1957, reading this letter for the first time and letting our love be Nothing:
“I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night.
It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside.
We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever.
Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all.
It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.
We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing.
It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about.
I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away?
Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.”
“Anyway, I wrote the book because we’re all gonna’ die.”
“Put down the pen someone else gave you. No one ever drafted a life worth living on borrowed ink.”
And I don’t know what this next song (Skip James, Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues) has to do with Kerouac—except maybe they occupy the exact place in the chest where you undergo a bypass art surgery?—but I’ve added both to my cup of coffee and it was all dark, black and blue. And it was good.
“Something good will come of all things yet.”
~ All quotes by Kerouac. ~