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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Kerouac’

Saddened this morning to hear that singer/songwriter John Prine died yesterday from the coronavirus at the age of 73.

As I’ve noted here in the past, I have been a big fan for nearly a half century and many of his songs are so deeply embedded in my psyche that they are often the accompanying soundtrack to many of the events in my life. His songs were witty and wise while often reaching into the deeper parts of the human spirit and emotion.

His is a voice that will be sorely missed especially in these awful days when we are seeking for something that gives us direction or reminds us of our our own humanness. But his legacy is a lifetime of music that will speak for him from beyond the grave.

I wanted to play one of his songs today and there are so many choices that would have been easy to make. Paradise, Angel From Montgomery, Hello in There, That’s The Way the World Goes Round, Sam Stone, and on and on. I wanted something that you might not have heard if you weren’t a fan over the years. My choice was one used here on a post several years back that was concerned with the importance of kindness. It’s title is He Was in Heaven Before He Died.

I am pretty sure John Prine fell into that category.

Give a listen and have yourself some kind of day.

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GC Myers- Raised Up Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.

Jack Kerouac

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I am not sure what to do with these words from Jack Kerouac but I do like them and think they deserve to be passed along. I am a firm believer of kindness in all forms and believe that it is a pathway to a better life here in this world.

When I was waiting tables I found that my own attitude and demeanor often dictated how others responded to me. If I smiled and acted congenially, more often than not the person I was dealing with responded in the same manner. We are reactionary creatures and we instinctively respond according to the tone we encounter– rudeness with rudeness and anger with anger.

And kindness with kindness.

It’s our choice. If we can fight against our reactionary nature and choose to act and react with kindness, we can shape our world and then perhaps realize that a form of heaven might be within our grasp.

I have never had the faith or certainty of those who believe that there is an actual heaven waiting beyond this world. I would like to but I just don’t have it within me. So, for me, if there is to be a heaven it is something to be sought in the here and now. By that, I mean creating an environment that is honest, kind and gentle.

A life that is peaceful and quiet–that would be heaven to me.

So, when you’re out there today and face rudeness and anger, make the choice to react in a gentler manner and be kind. Your world might be one small step closer to heaven.

This quote reminded me of a song from one of my favorites, John Prine. The title pretty much sums it up: He Was In Heaven Before He Died.

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Even though this post only ran last August, I thought it was worth replaying, if only to remind us to maintain some semblance of civility and sanity in this bitter election season.  I was reminded of this post because the painting featured in it, Raised Up, went with me to the Principle Gallery for my talk there this past Saturday.  It’s a piece that I like very much as is the song at the end from John Prine.  Hope you’ll enjoy them as well…

GC Myers- Raised Up

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.

Jack Kerouac

****************

I am not sure what to do with these words from Jack Kerouac but I do like them and think they deserve to be passed along.  I am a firm believer of kindness in all forms and believe that it is a pathway to a better life here in this world.

When I was waiting tables I found that my own attitude and demeanor often dictated how others responded to me.  If I smiled and acted congenially, more often than not the person I was dealing with responded in the same manner.  We are reactionary creatures and we instinctively respond according to the tone we encounter– rudeness with rudeness and anger with anger.

And kindness with kindness.

It’s our choice.  If we can fight against our reactionary nature and choose to act and react with kindness, we can shape our world and then perhaps realize that a form of heaven might be within our grasp.

I have never had the faith or certainty of those who believe that there is an actual heaven waiting beyond this world.  I would like to but I just don’t have it within me.  So, for me, if there is to be a heaven it is something to be sought in the here and now.  By that, I mean creating an environment that is honest, kind and gentle.  A life that is peaceful and quiet–that would be heaven to me.

So, when you’re out there today and face rudeness and anger, make the choice to react in a gentler manner and be kind.  Your world might be one small step closer to heaven.

This quote reminded me of a song from one of my favorites, John Prine.  The title pretty much sums it up: He Was In Heaven Before He Died.

Read Full Post »

GC Myers- Raised Up Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.

Jack Kerouac

****************

I am not sure what to do with these words from Jack Kerouac but I do like them and think they deserve to be passed along.  I am a firm believer of kindness in all forms and believe that it is a pathway to a better life here in this world.

When I was waiting tables I found that my own attitude and demeanor often dictated how others responded to me.  If I smiled and acted congenially, more often than not the person I was dealing with responded in the same manner.  We are reactionary creatures and we instinctively respond according to the tone we encounter– rudeness with rudeness and anger with anger.

And kindness with kindness.

It’s our choice.  If we can fight against our reactionary nature and choose to act and react with kindness, we can shape our world and then perhaps realize that a form of heaven might be within our grasp.

I have never had the faith or certainty of those who believe that there is an actual heaven waiting beyond this world.  I would like to but I just don’t have it within me.  So, for me, if there is to be a heaven it is something to be sought in the here and now.  By that, I mean creating an environment that is honest, kind and gentle.  A life that is peaceful and quiet–that would be heaven to me.

So, when you’re out there today and face rudeness and anger, make the choice to react in a gentler manner and be kind.  Your world might be one small step closer to heaven.

This quote reminded me of a song from one of my favorites, John Prine.  The title pretty much sums it up: He Was In Heaven Before He Died.

Read Full Post »

I’d go out to my snowfield and dig out my jar of purple Jello and look at the white moon through it. I could feel the world rolling toward the moon.”

-Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

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This line from the Jack Kerouac novel was sent to me yesterday by my friend Miescha who had thought of my paintings when she had come across it.  I really liked the association she found in those words and my work and especially the connection she found with it in Kerouac.  When I read the line I was immediately transported back in time to a trip I made with my brother when I was fourteen years old to the Adirondacks to hike around Mt. Marcy.  Kerouac’s On the Road was in my backpack.

It was in the midst of a very hot summer and we hitchhiked, first from the horse track in Canandaigua to Syracuse then from there up through the mountains.  It was a different time, obviously, to see a fourteen year old to be hitching with his older brother and not think it completely out of the ordinary. Probably not something many parents would even consider letting their kids today but for me it fostered a real sense of independence.

 I remember distinctly so much of that trip, especially the people who gave us rides.  The older guy who was commuting northward, drinking canned beer which he shared with my brother.  I politely turned him down when he offered me one.  Whenever we passed a female of any sort he would stick his arm out the window and pound the side of this car as he let out a wolf-like howl.  Then there were a couple of young gypsy housepainters from Lubbock, Texas who played an eight-track of the Doobie Brothers and offered us beer and pot, both of which I again declined.  After they let us out, my brother told me to take the beer and pot and simply hold it for him for later.

Then there was a couple of Italian tourists with their  son who was only a couple of years younger than me.  They didn’t offer any beer or drugs which was fine with me.  I remember the awe of the father as we climbed through a pass in the mountains where the highway had been carved through the stone, leaving shere walls of stone on either side of the wide road.  He spoke in Italian to his son as he pointed at the  stone in admiration.  I had the feeling he was some sort of engineer.

I also remember a long day coming out of the mountains and being at the Thruway entrance near Albany, trying to get a ride through to Syracuse on a Sunday evening, a tough get for a young man and a boy together.  We sat there for about six hours and I finally fell asleep in exhaustion, laying on the road shoulder against the guardrail until a kind soul gave us a ride all the way home, smoking pot with my brother as I slumbered in the back seat.  We walked the last few blocks in the early morning heat through  the streets and I remember a feeling of great contentedness.

The trip and the Kerouac novel’s depiction of the frantic pace of that early Beat generation made the idea of the open road seem irresistible in the mind of a young teenager, a feeling that haunted me for years until it finally faded into the past as my aspirations of being Dean Moriarty turned to the quieter. stabler reality of my current life.  I was never cut out to be that nomadic figure.  I know that now.  But the inspiration it provided those many years ago has remained with me and I still carry that memory of that feeling of being young and alive and on the road.

Funny how a few simple lines can bring back so much memory.  Thanks, Miescha.

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