Monday, February 15, 2016

Jack Kerouac and social media and the one-inch dash

We had an interesting discussion in my class the other day about whether Kerouac would use social media if it existed during his lifetime. Opinions varied. Some thought he would eschew it in favor of live interactions. Some thought he would take advantage of its ability to facilitate such live interactions (remember, the Beats were often arranging get-togethers via mail and letters sometimes arrived after they were relevant). Some thought he would take full advantage of being able to journal electronically. What are your thoughts?

Which brings me to LiveJournal, a blog platform I used to use and which I can't seem to link to so readers can access it. To wit, one of my friends asked me to post a particular entry in The Daily Beat titled, "The one-inch dash." I posted it in LiveJournal on 10-13-06 and was prompted to revisit it by a Facebook post featuring this image:

Faithful readers know I am rethinking my vision for this blog. It may be that it will start to include musings like the below, although as per my blog's mission I will connect it to Kerouac. The connection here? Jack lived a lot in that one-inch dash (1922-1969). Will you be able to say the same?

Here you go, Kath. From LiveJournal 10-13-06...with no editing....

The One-Inch Dash

One thing is for sure, no matter what you accomplish or don't accomplish, no matter what you accumulate or don't accumulate, no matter what you learn or don't learn, no matter what behaviors you engage in or don't engage in, no matter how passionate you were or how lifeless, no matter what . . . for sure and without any question whatsoever the YOU that you are so carefully protecting and creating and fussing about WILL BE REDUCED TO A ONE-INCH DASH BETWEEN TWO DATES ON A PIECE OF GRANITE. Bill Gates. Einstein. Buddha. Brad Pitt. Osama bin Laden. Hitler. That guy in the other car you flipped off the other day. NO MATTER - they and we have one thing in common. That one-inch dash. So do you want to fuss about all the things that are wrong and all the things on your plate and how awful other people act and how your "friends" screwed you again and what a fool George Bush is and how the world let you down again and how your car let you down and how it wasn't supposed to be quite like this and some day you will be happy when [fill in the blank] happens? Or do you want to spend your life as if each second is a precious gift and just be present in THIS moment, which is all we ever have. Comparison is the mind's delusion. Comparison to others people, places, times, events, things. It's all just so much mind-made delusion. Relax into being who you are, as you are, this moment and every moment. It doesn't matter what you do or don't do. It matters HOW you do it: consciously or unconsciously. Fully in this moment or trapped in your mind, endlessly agonizing over what was and wishing for what will be.

"But you don't know what it's like! You're not me and you don't have to suffer with [fill in the person, place, thing, event, lack}!" you scream back at me. Then please feel free to suffer. With enough pain, you will eventually discover the enlightened being that is you. Maybe in this lifetime. Maybe not. My words are just pointing to a way to speed things up for this go-around. If you wish.

But remember the one-inch dash.

1 comment:

yogamama said...

I totally agree! That we get a dash AT ALL is such luck, such a boon, why squander it doing anything less than enriching escapades!

(I think Kerouac would have been a blogger, but maybe not a tweeter. I think the big microphone of the blogging platform would have been simply irresistible.)