Bangtail Ideas

And yet another excerpt from The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, ©1958:

But I had my own little bangtail ideas and they had nothing to do with the “lunatic” part of all this.  I wanted to get me a full pack complete with everything necessary to sleep, shelter, eat, cook, in fact a regular kitchen and bedroom right on my back, and go off somewhere and find perfect solitude and look into the perfect emptiness of my mind and be completely neutral from any and all ideas.  I intended to pray, too, as my only activity, pray for all living creatures; I saw it was the only decent activity left in the world.  To be in some riverbottom somewhere, or in a desert, or in mountains, or in some hut in Mexico or shack in Adirondack, and rest and be kind, and do nothing else, practice what the Chinese call “do-nothing.”  I didn’t want to have anything to do, really, either with Japhy’s ideas about society (I figured it would be better to just avoid it all together, walk around it) or with any of Alvah’s ideas about grasping after life as much as you can because of its sweet sadness and because you would be dead some day.

(“Alvah” is Allen Ginsberg; “Japhy” is Gary Snyder.)

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