A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Life Advice from Jack Kerouac

My latest literary obsession is Jack Kerouac. I also love googling pictures of him, because he looked a lot like my father did.

Here are some of the things he wrote:

“Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH…” — Big Sur

“…we all must admit that everything is fine and there’s no need in the world to worry, and in fact we should realize what it would mean to us to UNDERSTAND that we’re not REALLY worried about ANYTHING.” – The Dharma Bums

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.” — On the Road

“Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running — that’s the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters. And if your cans are redhot and you can’t hold them in your hands, just use good old railroad gloves, that’s all.” — The Dharma Bums

“So long and take it easy, because if you start taking things seriously, it is the end of you.” — Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings

“Sociability is just a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth.” — The Dharma Bums

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.”

“Love is all.”

“Life must be rich and full of loving — it’s no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone.” — Selected Letters, 1940-1956

“The happiness consists in realizing that it is all a great strange dream.” — Lonesome Traveller

“The details are the life of it, I insist, say everything on your mind, don’t hold back, don’t analyze or anything as you go along, say it out.” — The Subterraneans

“Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.”

“It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing.” — Letter to his first wife, Edie, 1957

“The beauty of things must be that they end.” — Tristessa

“The truth of the matter is, you die, all you do is die, and yet you live, yes you live, and that’s no Harvard lie.”

“You’ll be sorry some day. Why don’t you ever understand what I’m trying to tell you: it’s with your six sense that you’re fooled into believing not only that you have six senses, but that you contact an actual outside world with them. If it wasn’t for your eyes, you wouldn’t see me. If it wasn’t for your ears, you wouldn’t hear that airplane. If it wasn’t for your nose, you wouldn’t smell that midnight mint. If it wasn’t for your tongue taster, you wouldn’t taste the difference between A and B. If it wasn’t for your body, you wouldn’t feel Princess. There is no me, no airplane, no mind, no Princess, no nothing, you for krissakes do you want to go on being fooled every damn minute of your life?” — The Dharma Bums

“The road must eventually lead to the whole world.” — On the Road


And so said the visuals: a collection of designs from Jordan


Jordan’s Armed Forces at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

1 Comment

  1. Hisham

    I love it. I love the quotes. Reminds me of presence. And if now.

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