Was told yesterday about a man, who while being a successful man of business, with wife & children, for three months out of every year would turn the business over to his wife, bid his family farewell, and "ride the rails" like the stereotyped hobo's of the Great Depression era. Did it for fun. For the freedom. Freedom from what? To live like a bum with no home? To beg for money and food as a means of survival? Not my way of enjoying freedoms. But maybe he wasn't really searching for freedom. Maybe he did it ascetically as a means of experiencing suffering. To endure suffering, as the Buddhist monks preach, to the level of homelessness, begging for your sustenance. So that one may experience this on one's path to enlightenment. Well, the Polar Express comes to mind as the greatest movie for the time of the Yuletide. And it is the Christmas season. A time of celebrating the birth of the one who suffered for all of humankind. This hobo of self inflicted suffering also made me think of Kerouac. That student of Zen Buddhism. That Dharma Bum. That voice of the beats and birther of hippies. That rider of the rails as a means of free travel and escape. That rider of the Midnight Ghost from L.A. to San Francisco. Freedom was the only thing on his mind, even while he was not in his right one. I also learned this morning that Kerouac's "On the Road" is opening in theater's nationwide today. As I have not yet read the book, it is waiting for me on the bookcase shelf in my house. A novel about freedom and suffering. Not only in one's life, but freedom of the bounds of literature. Written on one giant, continuous roll of typing paper, free from form, and free for continuous thoughts to be spewed forth onto the page. Writing is a joy. A freedom. Funny that I am just beginning to enjoy this freedom on a day which the World Is To End! Funny how this movie of freedom begins on a day when we may all be freed of our Earthly bounds. Or maybe it's the Earth which will be free of us. Maybe Jesus will return in this time of the Yuletide. Or maybe Jack's movie will finally be free for us all to view. So a toast to Jesus. A toast to Jack. A Merry Christmas to all of you. And a toast to Jerry Garcia who told us.
"I wish I was a headlight, on a northbound train. I wish I was a headlight, on a northbound train. I'd shine my light through that, cool Colorado rain."
and what song comes on the radio as I turn it on right after writing this...............Freebird. I shit you not. Good night.