Sunday, November 30, 2008

Whither goest thou?

For my fellow 50-somethings with 50-something eyesight, the quote in the above image (sent me by a fellow Stumbler), is:

"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?"
~Jack Kerouac

This morning on Meet The Press, Tom Brokaw asked Ted Turner about starting CNN. Turner said it was like Columbus*: he didn't know where he was going when he left, didn't know where he was when he got there, and didn't know where he'd been when he got back.

Do we ever know where we're going, or what it will be like when we get there, or have a true understanding of where we've been? Perhaps not. But perhaps, too, that is one of the wonderful things about the dance of life. And perhaps it's why Buddhist author Pema Chodron wrote Comfortable With Uncertainty (recommended).

As Kerouac might put it, "Dig the ride!" No matter what, the road ahead holds surprises we can't anticipate. See it as an adventure!

We don't know when or if the economy will rebound, or if Barack Obama will construct a successful Presidency, or if it will snow hard this winter (like the last one!) or even if we'll wake up to another morning. And if we did, what a drudge life would be.

So dig this sad happy ride we're all on. Dean's drivin' and there's no tellin' exactly where we'll end up but it'll for sure be somewhere else (haw haw haw).

*Leave it to politically insensitive Captain Outrageous to use as an example a white European male native-slaughtering genocidal slave trader about whom secular schoolchildren are lied to in public schools every October.


Crystal said...

Or as Alan Watts says, "Embrace insecurity by living each moment intensely as it happens."

Hmmm, weren't Jack and Dean and Watts contemporaries? I wonder if they ever met?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

According to Gerald Nicosia, in his 767-page Kerouac biography Memory Babe, Jack "and Gary [Snyder] went to dinner at Alan Watts', and Jack and Watts got on fine, Jack liking his 'sincerity'" (1983, p. 519).

I don't (yet) have a resource re: Cassady and Watts meeting....

Bohemian Cowboy said...

I'm enjoying your journal--thanks for directing me here. I've always been a Jack Kerouac enthusiast. When I was a teenager, I lived in a house with my Aunt Linda (King) here in Silver Lake, (L.A.) where the poets gathered. (My Aunt Linda was in a relationship with Charles Bukowski at the time) Of course, I was a teenager and found most of them disgusting, but I did get along with Buk, who often took my to the fights and the horse races. I was not new to the races, as my Grandfather was a 'race horse man', but in retrospect, I didn't know I was sporting the track as a 17 yr. old with 'The Great Drunken Poet'. I'm now back in L.A. putting up two of my plays, I've been a writer since those days. I've had my share of Kerouac adventures, some of which find their way into my plays. I like the quote here, "Dig the ride!" which is exactly what I'm doing currently, Thanks, I also play bluegrass music, with more of a honky tonk influence...