have you read kerouac? i have only read the one, but i think on the road is one of the finest pieces of literature of the 2oth century.
usually i require books to have paragraphs and order. i’m a compartmentalizer–everything has its place, order is important, and i greatly value the appropriate use of commas. on the road doesn’t have these things, it’s a decidedly unorganized text.
but i love it anyway. i love its spontaneity, its authenticity and rawness. i love how kerouac was able to articulate the feeling of being on the road, i love how it seems to capture my thoughts about life and where i am at in this juncture when my words are so completely inadequate.
so much of life is about figuring ourselves out, i think. our dreams, our goals, what is important to each of us. i used to have it all figured out and i’ve only recently discovered there’s so very much i don’t know. i’ve just returned from a trip to DC where i was reminded, yet again, of my purpose in going to law school and what i want to do with my life. i’m also rereading on the road.
as i was driving home this summer from arizona, i was struck by the beauty of the west. as i passed moab, i was struck by an overwhelming sense of wonder. i don’t know if you’ve ever driven out west or if you’ve experienced such a feeling. a few years ago i would have rolled my eyes at someone if they said that. but i tell you, i had to pull over on the side of highway 191 outside of moab because i was so overcome with that feeling. i wept on the side of that highway.
in on the road, sal states:
as we crossed the colorado-utah border i saw god in the sky in the form of huge sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.”
kerouac gets it. i doubt everyone who has driven out there gets it, and i certainly cannot find the words to articulate it, but to quote kerouac again, i wanted to know what IT meant. and i think this phase of my life is figuring out the IT.
have you read on the road? were you particularly enthralled by it? anything else you love? i’m always in the market for reading suggestions.