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 Post subject: OTR QUESTION #23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:44 am 
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Dean and Sal are looking at some snapshots. When you read this passage did you wonder about your children or ancestors and how they would perceive you? “I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, or actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road. All of it inside endless and beginningless emptiness. Pitiful forms of ignorance.” (pgs. 253-254)



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:05 am 
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I guess we all wonder what legacy we'll leave behind. For most of us, it won't be a spectacular body of work to be remembered like JD (and Marlon :-/ ).

I never thought about it much until my nephew at the age of 10 (eight years ago) made a poster for school which consisted of memories of Christmas at my house. The small things/traditions he included were surprising to me (opening one present on Christmas Eve, his searching in closets and under the bed for my scared little black cat, the car rides to see the lights, etc.). Sometimes we affect people in the smallest ways, I guess.

I think my goal from this stage forward is to be remembered for being true to myself and for being there for my family, friends and co-workers. I know it sounds boring but we can't all be "roman candles" as Jack says. :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:06 am 

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"When you read this passage did you wonder about your children or ancestors and how they would perceive you? "

When I look at pictures of my childhood, they tend to be of special days and separate from everyday life. However my son knows a lot about relatives that died before he was born, because I do have pictures of those lost friends and relatives all over the house and I chose to talk about them. When my son became a Bar Mitzvah, I wrote a short speech to him, concentrating on those loved ones who had died but had already passed down unique gifts to him. For example, my cousin's non-conformity which described my child as well and my grandfather's gentleness which was certainly a gift my son inherited.
I hope all of our children will remember us realistically, but with an emphasis on what was the best about us. That comes from how a person lives his/her life, not just in front of the camara.


I think what Jack was possibly trying to say was that "posed" snapshots, do very little to convey a person's true reality and really don't tell the accurate story of that person.

There is an interview (I can't locate the source right now) in which JD talked the famous picture taken by a paparazi as the cops were taking him off to the police station in London in 1999 after the "wood" incident. Even though JD hates being photographed without his permission, he said the picture captured more truth than any posed publicity shot. I remember the journalist conducting the interview was struck by JD's honesty.



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"We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become." -Ursula Le Guin
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 Post subject: Queston #23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:10 am 
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“I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives


I have many pictures of everyday life when my children were young and I am so glad I do. When I read this passage it made me think of my ancestors and the photgraphs I have of them. Most are standing in very formal poses looking qutie grim. I know photography was not as common back then and it was an occasion I'm sure to have a picture done. When I see them I often wonder about their everyday lives and their personalities. My mother comes from a family of 10 children. One of my favorite family pictures is of my grandparents and all 10 children lined up according to their age in front of their family farm house. They all look quite proper and serious. I am sure life on a farm with 10 children was anything but proper and serious!



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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!
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 Post subject: Re: OTR QUESTION #23
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:36 am 
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Liz wrote:
Dean and Sal are looking at some snapshots. When you read this passage did you wonder about your children or ancestors and how they would perceive you?


I related to this question by thinking of my experience with my grandmother. Even though I knew my grandmother, Ida Wilson Carman, I really didn't know anything unless I was told stories of her past, her thoughts and feelings. Pictures are a place in time - you only see styles of the time. They really don't tell you anything else. To hear her talk of her life was amazing. She died at 98. One can only imagine all that was in her mind, how she was back during the depression, how she felt when she lost her home during that time due to the depression. She and my mother traced our heritage to pre-Mayflower and into England, which is only an outline of the lives involved. Just to think of the volumes of thoughts and experiences that came before us.....it's overwhelming.

I have a habit of pinning up pictures all over a wall in my office at home. It amazes me how many times my kids come in to look at them and reminisce. When my older sons talk about the pictures, about feelings and experiences relating to those pictures, I am taken back by how much I didn't even know about my own children. One can only imagine what the grandchildren will think when they see these pictures.

When I look at old pictures I wonder what was going on in their minds - behind their eyes - the stories left untold.



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"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan
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 Post subject: Great Answers So Far
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 1:24 pm 
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Naomi wrote:
I think what Jack was possibly trying to say was that "posed" snapshots, do very little to convey a person's true reality and really don't tell the accurate story of that person.


Great answers all around!

I agree with Naomi that Jack was possibly trying to say that "posed" snapshots don't really say much about the "real" person. And as DITHOT pointed out, pictures from that time period were less frequent and probably posed. I am fairly sure that my children will remember their "real" mom accurately because I take many pictures--many candid-- and keep plenty of memorabilia. That's assuming that I ever get up to date with my scrapbooking--which I just happened to be working on last night--the first time in months. And I am sure they will get a real sense of how I felt about them as they grew up through these scrapbooks. :heart2:



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:24 pm 
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I have no children and I don't think about the future, so that isn't an issue at all for me. I am not one for photos at all. I actively dislike my picture being taken and I don't display pictures of my family around the house. I see them, so I don't need their images. For relatives who have passed away, I have other mementoes. For instance, my e-mail address contains my grandmother's maiden name, so every time I use it, I think of her. However, my (other)grandmother was very interested in passing on family lore and pictures. I know quite a lot about my ancestors and I do value their pictures because it is virtually all I have of them. I have a great great grandmother, whose picture I have and I know her name, occupation and age when she died. The only pictures I do display are of Johnny and what strikes me is how different he looks in various ones. So, I don't think they are reliable things at all. What does fascinate me sometimes is the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. Someone once told me that there are three truths: your truth, my truth and the truth in between, and I think that is very wise. I find it quite easy to accept that Johnny genuinely doesn't see himself as others do. Self-image is a very strong part of our psyche and personality, not easily changed.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:07 pm 
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Suec wrote:

"What does fascinate me sometimes is the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. Someone once told me that there are three truths: your truth, my truth and the truth in between, and I think that is very wise. I find it quite easy to accept that Johnny genuinely doesn't see himself as others do. Self-image is a very strong part of our psyche and personality, not easily changed."


You definitely have a good point there. I can accept that Johnny genuinely doesn't see himself as other do too. I have been told by others of their perception of me and it always comes as a surprise. I think I look old, but I have people who think I am a good 8 years younger than I am. I have been told I am "laid back" but in reality if one was truly laid back it seems they would be content; I am not...... So the 3 different truths mentioned above seem logical.



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"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:49 pm 
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I'm a little late joining in as I'm on different time here in the UK.

I was struck by what Scarlett said about her nephew remembering the most surprising things. I'm often surprised at the things my own kids remember about their childhood - not at all the things I would've expected, and certainly not the things which I tried so hard to make memorable for them!

I'm a genealogist by profession (among other things, including writing) so the whole question of how we can know what our ancestors were really like is an interesting one for me. I'm always trying to get at the real story behind the names and dates and those stiff poses, but it's not easy.

My own parents are getting old now and I often wish there was some way I could preserve something of their essence, their true spirit, for their descendants. Somehow photos work best as reminders if you actually knew the person, but don't work so well if it's someone you never knew.

As far as Jack Kerouac himself is concerned, I think his writing tells us more about who he was than any photo could, but I think maybe the best picture of who we are is made up of a whole collage of things - pictures, memories, words, objects, as well as other people's views of us. Actually, Johnny is a good example of this, as my image of who he is comes from all kinds of things - photos, interviews, the people he admires, the art he likes, not to mention the tattoos and objects he adorns himself with - he's like a walking scrapbook, in fact I think he's said something to that effect himself!

Hope I haven't rambled on too much - I'm new at this.


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 Post subject: A Waliking Scrapbook
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:53 am 
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Sands wrote:
I'm a little late joining in as I'm on different time here in the UK.
- he's like a walking scrapbook, in fact I think he's said something to that effect himself!


Sands, it doesn't really matter what time you join in on these questions. People join in at all times of the day--even the following day. Any input is welcome.

And I love that analogy of Johnny to "a walking scrapbook". :ohyes:



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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:10 pm 
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Quote:
My own parents are getting old now and I often wish there was some way I could preserve something of their essence, their true spirit, for their descendants. Somehow photos work best as reminders if you actually knew the person, but don't work so well if it's someone you never knew.


Glad to have you aboard Sands!

One of things we always do at my in-laws house when we have family dinners is sit around the table when dinner is over and tell family stories. My boys are in their 20's now but some of their favorite memories are of those times. Not only does it serve to pass down family history but it also gives them a true sense of who their grandparents are and were. One of my nephews had to write an essay for school about a favorite memory. He wrote about the horseradish eating contest my boys got into at their grandparents dinner table. One of those everyday moments you don't realize has made a memory forever.



_________________________________________________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:35 pm 
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Wow, what insightful and interesting posts on this thread. I wish I had the time to take part more in these discussions! I hope you don't mind if I read, appreciate, and interject once in a while.

Gypsylee wrote:
but in reality if one was truly laid back it seems they would be content; I am not......


This part of your post struck me, Gypsylee, and for some reason made me feel a little sad! I also consider myself neither laid back or content. But I don't know that I've ever considered one to be a result or condition of the other. It brings to mind what Johnny said about being satisfied, that it's death for an actor. I think that can translate into any creative endeavor, as well as one's mental/emotional state in life. I feel like I'm always seeking contentment. But just how valuable would that satisfaction really be?

Perhaps it's simply an indication that we are always evolving, and seeking to better our lives and ourselves. I find that incredibly noble and far more interesting than being content. It isn't always comfortable, but sometimes out of discomfort springs life's truest reward - growth.

I apologize for this being off topic from the original question, and I hope you don't mind my replying to your post. But I couldn't stop thinking about what you said, and then as a result, what Johnny said. I'm always thrilled with the threads on the book club board; they inspire me and make me exercise my brain. Thank you all for that. :shy:



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"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "
- Hunter S. Thompson
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:21 pm 
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Wow, what insightful and interesting posts on this thread. I wish I had the time to take part more in these discussions! I hope you don't mind if I read, appreciate, and interject once in a while.


Abigail, you are always welcome to read, appreciate or interject whenever you can! We appreciate your participation on any level!

Quote:
Perhaps it's simply an indication that we are always evolving, and seeking to better our lives and ourselves. I find that incredibly noble and far more interesting than being content. It isn't always comfortable, but sometimes out of discomfort springs life's truest reward - growth.


I love what you wrote here! I think this is one of the things that attracts us to Johnny. He takes roles that are so different and so interesting that take us, and I would guess him, out of comfort zones. It isn't always pleasant or comfortable but it always interesting and thought provoking!



_________________________________________________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:31 pm 
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Thank you DITHOT for your warm welcome and compliment. :love:

Quote:
I think this is one of the things that attracts us to Johnny. He takes roles that are so different and so interesting that take us, and I would guess him, out of comfort zones.


I agree with you. His work is never boring, always compelling. It's funny to me how quick and eager I am to watch some of his films that I know will reduce me to a puddle! Talk about willingly being taken out of one's comfort zone!



_________________________________________________________
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "
- Hunter S. Thompson
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 10:33 pm 
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abigail wrote:
Perhaps it's simply an indication that we are always evolving, and seeking to better our lives and ourselves. I find that incredibly noble and far more interesting than being content. It isn't always comfortable, but sometimes out of discomfort springs life's truest reward - growth.

I apologize for this being off topic from the original question, and I hope you don't mind my replying to your post. But I couldn't stop thinking about what you said, and then as a result, what Johnny said. I'm always thrilled with the threads on the book club board; they inspire me and make me exercise my brain. Thank you all for that. :shy:


Abigail, welcome back. :wave: I appreciate your comments at any level. Sometimes the best threads are the offshoots of the topic. :thumbsup: And I remember Johnny saying that (Inside the Actor's Studio, right?). Just one of the many things I admire about JD. I think it's that drive to improve or expand ourselves that keeps us thriving. :-O



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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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