Below is my submission to the On The Road 4 Kerouac project.
Jack Kerouac suffered the most intense and tempestuous love affair with life of any human being ever born, a love affair so profound that keeping it to himself was unthinkable and so he wrote it all down for the rest of us as a marker, a memorial, a bellwether, a reminder of what is important, of what he called in On The Road “our one and noble function of the time, move.” In all of his work, Jack was pointing us toward the ineffable Buddhist truth of the importance of now, of living fully in each moment, of completely experiencing everyone and everything deep down in our souls: of “digging the ride.”
Jack Kerouac was a man of action. When in doubt, he moved. His example motivated me to write a book and self-publish it after 20 rejections (rejection being something Jack knew all about), and, because of taking that action, I've read publicly with David Amram backing me up on keyboards, I've interviewed Jack Kerouac's lover Helen Weaver and published it on my Kerouac-obsessed blog, I've sent books to people all over the world, I receive free books in the mail from City Lights for my review, and I routinely meet interesting "mad to live" characters. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t bumped into Jack “on the road.”
I am hopeful that the On The Road 4 Kerouac project and the release of the movie version of On The Road will ignite a public rediscovery of Jack Kerouac, the author, as well as Jack Kerouac, the man. Then, perhaps millions of other souls will learn – as Jack’s gravestone says – to “honor life.” They’ll take risks with love and laughter and compassion and somewhere along the way, just like Jack when he made it to Colorado for the first time, they’ll be able to yell, "Damn! damn! damn! I'm making it!"