Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Bivouac with Kerouac
It's a grey cloud-shrouded day and there's a berry-red cheery turf fire in the grate and me lying on the sofa with a big alpaca-wool wrap around me as I read Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums (always years late to read what everyone else is singing about, but better late than never). I should be posting pictures of the five and a half hour hike over Camaderry's muddily drear then snow-shaken four-seasoned Wicklow mountainback I traversed Sunday (Light-Bearer country) after a wild bonfire-lit and fairy-light lit open-air shack of a mountainy party with hundreds of people and a live band playing reggae and ska as we danced into the small hours of the morning the bloody night before! Swollen feet and sore limbs and aching shoulders trudged those rocky fir-laden slopes and black boggy flats wondering if I could and would endure, but I did enjoy the conversation about the re-introduction of the red kite and the question of God's existence, and the warm coffee in a flask with cheese sandwiches sweetened by Maureen's pecan pie. Then yesterday I was drinking butter tea with Tibetans in a grassy church yard near the Chinese Embassy under the benevolent eye of Our Lady's statue, soaking wet from the lash of rain but happy to be exercising democracy at its best, that is, free assembly and freedom to dissent against injustice and tyranny. So I'm still recovering from all that life-living activity with no energy to sort through everyone's photographs -mine, Ger's, and Mike's. Another day's work. And yes indeed I am being influenced by the rhythms and themes of Mr Kerouac's fine book though his attitude towards women is nothing short of abominable: we be humans too, Jack, seeking enlightenment in the great nothingness and emptiness of this world's samsara!