|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
All Right! Back To The Syllabus.
If I Could Have/Be Any Character In Any Book I've Read...Who Would It Be, From What Book And Why Did I Choose That Person?
So let's climb in the Way Back Machine as Peabody used to say to Sherman on the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" show. We'll set the dial for the years 1957 or 1958 and zero in on the coordinates for San Francisco. The city was fully in the grip of the Beat Generation. Those post World War Two seekers after truth and freedom. Into this mix comes a couple of books that would define the image of this subculture for the American People. First there was On The Road and hot on its heels was The Dharma Bums, both by that chronicler of the scene, Jean-Louis Lebris De Kerouac (Jack Kerouac).
His trip to the west coast in the late 1940's gave birth to both of these works and a pantheon of thinly veiled characters that would go on to typify everything hip in that period. In both of these early works we meet Gary Snyder, Buddhist, Pulitzer Prize winner, and ecologist/outdoors man In the character of Jaffy/Jaffe Ryder. He takes the citified Jack Duluoz (Kerouac) under his wing and introduces him to Zen and the mountains of Big Sur and the search to connect to the natural world and free one's self from duality.
It was Snyder (in the character of Jaffe), more than anyone else, who eventually led me to the west coast and the natural splendor of mountain ranges from Washington State to Baja and the diversity of the western environments and people. It was tales of Jaffe bounding up and down rugged slopes and sleeping rough in the forests that sent me to Sur, Yosemite, Shasta, The Mojave and Anza-Borrego. It was the talk of meditating among the redwoods that interested me first in Alan Watts and led me to where I am now in an intensive study of Jodo Shinshu.
It was the manic force of Kerouac and Burroughs and Cassady and Kesey and their stream of consciousness rants that truly lit a fire under my young ass and made me wonder if I might be able to follow where they'd led. All that time ago and I am still traipsing up and down the coast and off into the mountains, camping in tents, fishing incredible water and writing my heart out. It is there I go when I need to remember my scale in all this. It is there I hear Jaffe whooping in the hills.
Accepting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Nope, still no pay, just glorious exposure! You can send your work to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. There are gadgets for that on the right side of this page. I love the company and it helps with the search engine ranking. Comments, critiques, and questions are always answered in as timely a manner as I can manage between my day job, writing, studies, blah, blah, blah. There's a form at the bottom of the page for your use.
In the meantime, remember...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis