Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac
The road is life. The difference I think is that Kerouac was one of the first to show it. Definitely in his generation and mine, one removed his talk about the road fueled dreams. If I had not read On the Road as a teenager would I have hitchhiker across the United States? That trip when I was twenty-four has informed everything that has happened since. Self-confidence had long been a challenge to me but after making it to New Jersey from California I felt that I could survive almost anything that life could throw at me. For The road I travelled was never just a external road but an internal one as well.
Every trip on the road has its cost. I used to believe that the cost for knowledge, experience and wisdom was innocence. I now believe differently. Some of the most wise and most experienced people I know are also the most innocent. I had made a common mistake. I had mistaken naivetee for innocence. True innocence is an inner sense,a trust and appreciation that comes from greeting each day as as something new without judgement informed by experience. Naivetee to me is the expectation that the world will conform to the rules you know. Every time I believed that I became rudely awakened.
To be continued…