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Are you really digging it?

February 22, 2011

Oh books. Aren’t they lovely? No matter my mood, location, or preference, there is always a book to suit my desire.

And as a solo traveler with a book in hand, I am quickly and easily transported to a world outside of my own, which usually returns me to my reality with a renewed sense of wonder and joy for my surroundings.

While I may have read it once in high school, I daresay much has changed for me since then (!) so when the owner of The Abbey Bookshop in Paris* suggested that I give a second read to Kerouac’s  On the Road, I agreed–but this time I had my hands on the just-released original scroll–the unedited version of fame that lacks paragraph breaks and reads long and fast. And oh, what a ride it is.

I highly reccommend a read-through of this new version regardless of your familiarity with the book that was first released, as that edition came under heavy editing at the hands of the publishers. And without giving anything away, I have found inspiration for my journey in one Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s road buddy and the star of the book.

Which brings me to my point–are you really digging it?

Neal C. is a whirlwind of desire, direction and intention. But he is constant in that he is always, absolutely, entirely excited about his now. He is always digging it.

How about you? Are you immersing yourself fully into your now? Are you enjoying the sensations, the lightness and the darkness, the laughter and the tears,  that you are experiencing in your now with the fullness of your being?

And if not, then what’s the point?

Putting this philosphy to work: Yesterday my tasks on Le Baumas–the farm that I am wwoofing at–consisted of stacking wood on palettes and containing a controlled burn of a very large pine tree. And man did I dig it!

The finished stack (~2 hours of work) was an intricate large-scale puzzle, and yet striking in its complete simplicity:

The controlled burn (~3 hours of work) was put entirely in my hands, and was equal parts thrilling and calming:

So if your daily tasks ever get you down, and you feel like a zombie growling through your day, then step back and take a deep breath. Then, if you find that you’re really just not digging it, either change your perspective or change your reality. Because take it from Neal C. and me–life is so much better if you’re digging it!!

I would love to know what you really dug about your day today. Maybe also what books have been inspiring to you and why, or perhaps your opinion of On the Road.  Leave a little love in the comments!


*A visit to The Abbey Bookshop was highly encouraged by a very cool and happenin’ chick I know (thanks Chelsea!) and if you ever find yourself in Paris (which I really hope you do), then please go in and enjoy a warm  and free cup of coffee as you browse the stacks–above ground and below it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 10:47 am

    Such a beautiful post, Zoe. You always get my wheels turning.

    I love your advice to change your perception or change your reality. I couldn’t put it any better myself. Life is simply wasted if we spend our days just going through the motions. It’s up to us to make necessary changes (in our perceptions or our situations) to live a more fulfilling life.

    Personally, I am not digging my current work situation so I am doing everything to change my reality. A new job might be in my NEAR future. I should know today or tomorrow. (Send your super powerful positive energy my way, pretty please). The same thing happened in Chicago. I was totally digging my situation and as soon as I wasn’t, I packed up and left for California. It certainly beats moping around every day.

    I have not read On The Road, but I have no doubt it’s a great read. I tend to gravitate toward less-than-inspiring novels, so I might just have to pick this one up at Bluestocking Books if they have it. I wish I could have checked out the Abbey bookshop when I was in Paris. 🙂 Bookstores are one of my favorite places.

    Love from San Diego!

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