So I rented a spot in a resort on a little lake all summer. Then I spent 45 days trying to learn something about myself.
I started by reading the unedited version of “On The Road”. Totally not the same book as the one I read when I was 39 and trying to figure out what I was going to do when my Hubbin retired from the Military.
Then I dug a little deeper and ended up reading about half of “Go” by John Clellan Holmes. A better writer. A better book. Not very flattering for Jack Kerouac. I mean to finish it but I ran out of summer nights.
There were some personal adventures that took me away from my lakeside perch. We can’t possibly travel like our grandparents and our parents did. Being 50-something changes everything too.
Why did I want to read Beats? I’ve harbored the notion that I’d learn to live in the now, at least on some level. My traveling companions weren’t that amused with what I was trying to do. “Do we have to get out of the car?” “We want hot food but we don’t want to cook it.” “I’m not as ready for walking as you seem to be.”
Finally, I found myself at The Ewam Garden of 1000 Buddhas trying to practice mindfulness walking. That went over like a lead balloon. I was digging it, doing a pretty good job, the mind just letting body stay on the path. A few hours later blood sugar took a dive and my companions stood there staring at me while I had to eat. Sometimes people need to eat. I didn’t smoke, or drink, or spend that last of our gas money gambling. I needed to eat so I could drive us the rest of the way home. They glared at me in uncomfortable silence at a truck stop. That never happened to Moriarty.
I just wanted to drink in blue skies and follow my wandering heart. It’s not that poetic when the weird guy at the bait and switch motel is chasing you out into the parking lot because you didn’t want to pay to spend the night in his filthy roach motel. So much for planning ahead.
So weird desire #2 is finishing my Master’s in the School of Disembodied Poetics. Can anyone even fathom the purpose of that? I can’t muster a Lotus position these days. Have I done too much in life to read this stuff? Is the abusive truth following the thought that it sounds good to write like a madwoman for 6 months and “drive baby drive” at points in the middle none of us have the hopped up brave ignorance to explore these ways because we’ve learned too much?