22 September 2015
The Sea Is My Brother
Jack Kerouac


What do I tell them when they want to know what I want to do in life? I tell them only what I won't do; as for the other thing, I do not know, so I do not say.
. . .
Is it the damned fool, who, at that dark moment, laughs courage right into you.
. . .
He had spoken of Fate with the cheerful certainty that only a pedagogue could attain. That was his trouble, he had been a fearless pedagogue. And now? Certainly not a fearless man; he was full of fear, and why not?...he knew not what was coming. Would fear, the knowledge and the wisdom of fear, drive the pedantry from his foolish being?
. . .
What of Fate? Ah, she was a charming lady, Fate, see how she had woven her skin from New York to Hartford in a few brief hours, changed a man from a pedagogue to a trembling scholar, had made her day sunny and her night warm with the thrill and potency of mystery, had stolen to his side and for a moment of terrible glory, in the night, revealed to him her design of designs - that no man may know, but each may wait, wonder, and according to the powers of his spirit, resist!
. . .
I’ll make it up with Palmer…he didn’t notice my sarcasm, so the burden of reproach is mine and mine alone. By my soul!…a man can’t go through life sneering at his fellowmen - where will it get us! - we’ve all got to learn to respect and love one another, and if we’re not capable of that, then, by George, the word has to be tolerance. Tolerance! If people like Nick don’t tolerate me, then I’ll tolerate them. Otherwise, nothing will ever change, not really…and change we must.
. . .

"I, too, like you, will deny human frailty as long as I live - will try to cure human nature in the tradition of the Progressive movement. But I don’t see a quick and easy way out; I think anti-Fascists live under that delusion. They point to fascism as all of evil, they point to every home grown Fascist by nature as all of evil. They think that by destroying Fascism, they destroy all evil in the world today, where, I believe, they only destroy what may be the last grand concerted evil. When that is done, disorganized individual evil will still be with us…"

“Truisms!” spat Nick. “A child would know that!"

“And I more than anyone else, if you will pardon my insufferable vanity…but I brought up the subject for one single reason, to point out that being simply anti-Fascist is not enough. You’ve got to go beyond anti-Fascism, you’ve got to be more meticulous in your search for a life’s purpose."