Category Archives: Writing Life

links and asides about writing craft, writer’s lives, creative processes and publishing + discourse about literature

Quote: Farewell Letter > Gabriel Garcia Marquez

NOTE: For reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s illustrious Nobel Laureate for literature, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature.

This charming, beautiful last letter from the dying writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is too beautiful, heartfelt and inspiring to not read.

As such, read on and go hug, kiss and tell people you love them:

** Farewell Letter **

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.

I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, with much love,

Your Friend,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Quote: J. Kerouac, I needed solitude and just stop the machine of “thinking”

…I came to a point where I needed solitude and just stop the machine of “thinking” and “enjoying” what they call “living,” I just wanted to lie in the grass and look at the clouds
 
— Jack Kerouac
Alone On A Mountaintop
Lonesome Traveler
Photo Note: This is the Fire lookout on Desolation Peak in the North Cascades of Washington State where Kerouac spent 63 days in the summer of ‘56. Taken from an on line article. More great pictures from John Suiter’s Poets on the Peaks, 2002. h/t Kenneth Morris

Quote: F. Kahlo (lies, hope, coffee and poetry)

“You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”

Frida Kahlo

Quote: G. Snyder (Wildness)

“Civilizations east and west have long been on a collision course with wild nature, and now the developed nations in particular have the witless power to destroy not only individual creatures but whole species, whole processes, of the earth. We need a civilization that can live fully and creatively together with wildness.”

Gary Snyder in Etiquette of Freedom / Practice of the Wild

Jack Kerouac – mixed media storymaker

Jack Kerouac is/was a mixed-media story maker. Sure mostly noted for novels or poems but also made sketches/drawing, imaginary baseball games, diary, notebooks and indeed paintings. Evidence follows.

Also friendly reminder Jack’s noted artifact – the whole dang sc/roll of On the Road comes to Kobe Japan from end of April ~ end of May and i am helping kick off the bonanza with a special mixed media storymaking workshop on April 29 1400-1600. Will involve scissors, glue and me and you + envelopes and suitcases of mystery and usual assorted hats

Quote: J. Garcia, re: J. Kerouac

More Jack #Kerouac riffs – this one from the mighty Jerry Garcia

 “I can’t separate who I am now from what I got from Kerouac. I don’t know if I would ever have had the courage or the vision to do something outside with my life – or even suspected the possibilities existed – if it weren’t for Kerouac opening those doors.”

Jerry Garcia, remembering Jack Kerouac who was born in Lowell, MA on March 12, 1922

PS Remember Jack Kerouac’s “on the road“ scroll is coming to Kobe in May with my workshop kicking things off on April 29.

Items: Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Some years ago (1996 maybe), poet Gary Snyder was doing a reading at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. Folks are lined up with stacks of books for him to sign, including, books not by him but my other  “associated“ writers. Thought this was very cheesy.

Anyhow, I only took a ragged copy of “Passage through India”. He gave a big chuckle and says “I don’t see many of these anymore” as he signed. Told him how i’d rambled with his books tucked in my rucksack through and arriving in Japan and reading Backcountry in Kyoto waiting for a bus to make me to Mochigase and start work on a mushroom farm.

Also, I had mailed him a documentary film I made (Hempenroad), and he recognized me from that and talked for a while about hemp and ecology while others waited impatiently to have him sign some Burroughs book or something. Felt so incredibly proud that he was aware of my existence.

Continue reading Items: Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Quote: T. Van Zandt, regarding the present, love and naps

“Humans can’t live in the present, like animals do. Humans are always thinking about the future or the past. So it’s a veil of tears, man. I don’t know anything that’s going to benefit me now, except love. I just need an overwhelming amount of love. And a nap. Mostly a nap.”

Townes Van Zandt

Quote: W. S. Burroughs, regarding writers in Rangoon

“As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.”

William S. Burroughs, The Adding Machine: Selected Essays

Note: Regarding L. Cohen / rain-coated, battered hat…

L. Cohen, home, Montréal

he (L. Cohen) always imagined himself as a writer,…

“rain-coated, battered hat pulled low above intense eyes, a history of injustice in his heart, a face too noble for revenge, walking the night along some wet boulevard, followed by the sympathy of countless audiences . . . loved by two or three beautiful women who could never have him.”

[source unclear]