Too bad I can’t thank J.D. Salinger now that he’s dead

Reprinted from another blog of mine. I am getting ready to go to a writers’ conference tomorrow and I’m pulling some posts to take with me.  I thought I’d share this story here.

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February 1, 2010

There’s that old synchronicity again…

I recently shared some of my angst-riddled stream of consciousness writings (from when I was a confused 19 year old with a broken heart and a troubled mind) with my friend B last week, in fact, just four days before Salinger’s death. I wanted to share an excerpt of it today. I wrote it 20 years ago, after a really horrible fight between me and my mother and my step-dad:

…who puts weird ideas into your head, casey? no one i scream back i just don’t know why. i’m a masochist and when she says watch it, i say why are you going to crack me one? i told you before i really enjoy when you do that (because i focus on the pain and the pain is good), i think i’ve calmed down a bit but i still feel like shit and nothing will be resolved, only filed away, sometimes i feel like dying, sometimes i feel like crying, i don’t want to die…

…we all have our method of escaping to a place where our sanities our preserved, hers is the business and making money for the family (how practical) mine is into books (how impractical), and what’s wrong with that? it makes me happy and who knows maybe i’ll be a writer (but they don’t make money….besides i don’t have enough skill but i want to learn anyway)…

….i can do wonderful things with writing, the possibilities are astounding, are all writers a bit loony in the head? i think so, i hope so because at least i’d have some company…..

…i’m so weird and stupid and fat and ugly and i’ll never be loved by anyone, not like i thought i was by paul, i was too messed up even for him, nobody liked him except me and i don’t think like my family, maybe i’m another holden caulfield but don’t even try to be arrogant because you don’t think nobly at all, but i do, i do…

And so…after I shared it with him, this long ago piece, and recommended that my friend read Catcher in the Rye…I decided to check it out again from the library too and find out exactly WHY I might have been so inclined to compare myself to good old Holden Caulfield. But I realize more importantly than why I related to him back then, is the discovery I made just last night, that nearly made me jump out of my skin when I read it, THAT’s how much I was amazed by this passage, as told by Mr. Antolini to Holden on pages 245-246:

Once you get past all the Mr. Vinsons, you’re going to start getting closer and closer – that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for it – to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart. Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.

I have more, much more I plan to share in the coming days/weeks (whenever I get the chance to)…I’m making some amazing discoveries that prove to me I’m not as insane as I feel sometimes. The hardest part is waiting for the coalescing of my thoughts into something half-way coherent. It takes a while because I’m picking up so many things recently and it’s difficult to articulate them when I want to.

And I just wanted to say THANK YOU first to J.D. Salinger…for this incredibly important piece of writing that speaks directly to my heart…at a time when I have been feeling the most confused, the most frightened, the most troubled I have been since I’ve been a teenager. I know you aren’t alive anymore to know this, but if there is any afterlife at all…perhaps you do know the true impact your writings have had on people.

And I just wanted to say THANK YOU to my readers…to those who might be moved by my journey…that perhaps it touches a chord within you, or has brought you some peace of mind, or might have felt a little less alone in your struggles. Sometimes I get some personal feedback and I’m so grateful to my readers who leave positive comments, or who email me. You have no idea how important it is to me to get some love and concern reflected back to me….

Blessings to you all!

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in existential depression, Inspirational quotations, My writing, Stories from My Life. Bookmark the permalink.

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