On Thursday I completed another suggested Kerouactivity from The Beat Handbook, courtesy of my favorite tattoo artist, Chris Killingstad of Nightwind Studios in Wellsboro, PA. Thanks, Chris! I gave him a signed copy of my book, since his past artistry certainly triggered the idea for the Kerouactivity in the first place. No, the tree of life and the stars are not new - just the motto. Oh, and yes, the accomplishment's been duly noted in my personal copy.
Below is the above-referenced entry from the book.
Today’s Kerouaction: On Freedom
To quote the movie, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, “It’s better to be dead and cool than alive and uncool.” To wit, when you are out sleeping under the stars, and no one on earth knows where you are, and your life-alienating cell phone is either turned off or, better, not with you, you can experience a rare feeling: freedom. Freedom is one of the key principles behind Kerouactions. It is so important that a little – or perhaps even a lot – of physical discomfort pales in comparison to the feeling that one is at all times and in all situations able to make a choice! The Kerouaction? Live free or die (with thanks to New Hampshire)! Right now, go up to the first person you see and give them $5.00. Tell them a book you are reading told you to do it. Or perhaps your sense of freedom tells you to tell me to take a hike. Great! You are free to choose! But always remember that. Do not blame your parents, your past, your mate, your children, events, places, or anything else for your troubles. You choose! Freedom....
Get “Live Free or Die” tattooed somewhere on your body.
Soon after my book was published, my friend Bob walked up to me and handed me 5 bucks and said a book told him to do it. And November's book winner has reported a number of Kerouaccomplishments based on The Beat Handbook. Crystal's done some, too! At a book-signing, I was asked if I planned on completing all the Kerouactivities. I said that some of them aren't intended to be taken literally, but I was working on it. I can't very well expect my readers to follow advice in the book if I don't. It's called "walking your talk." I figure getting a tattoo is pretty strong evidence of commitment to a principle.
As you're completing Kerouactivities, please keep us all posted on your progress here at The Daily Beat.