Shedding Ennui

kerouac collage

 

And just this moment another period of non-creativeness is striving to come over me. It’s like a disease, or rather like a madness. “So what?” rings in the chambers of my head, I challenge everything I see with this hoodlum’s thought. Now, now I will catch ennui as it tries to catch me, and I will wring its scrawny neck. Ennui is a scrawny gray person, a lounging hoodlum, a lout. . . . Tonight I’m going to write greatly and love greatly and strangle this folly. I’m catching these damnable changes of purpose in the flesh, red-handed, and throwing them to the winds, just like that. I challenge whatever comes into me at times like this to look me in the eye, I challenge for the possession of my being:–perhaps for variety’s sake. Oh yes, I know that I should never have been a writer, it’s not in my nature, but we will see this out to the end. 2000-words tonight.

Jack Kerouac, November 11, 1947

A dear poet-friend has re-entered my life lately, after years of our drifting apart. I’m grateful for conversations we’ve recently shared, and especially grateful that those conversations have steered me back to Jack Kerouac. I laughed when I re-read this part of his journal tonight; I had it underlined from my first reading years ago, and of course in my senior years, don’t recall it at all.

I’m glad for the way he wrote forthrightly about the issues of ennui–something I’m wrestling with lately, not because I feel dried up, but because work-related chores increased to the point that I could not find time to do creative work. Today was a long, long grinder, and now, finishing tomorrow’s assignments shortly before midnight, I have nothing left in the tank, but decided at least to post this Kerouac collage I’ve been noodling with the past few days when I could find the time. I hope I can put out a series of new Kerouac work as I return to reading him.

Thanks for reading.

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4 Responses to “Shedding Ennui”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    Love this. Is the sketch of him yours, or something cut out? Lovely work.

    Like

  2. Stacy Says:

    I absolutely love it David. So glad you went on a retreat for some you time. Can’t wait to see you when you get home and discuss, share and do some more catching up.

    Like

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