A thousand times I’ve sat at a dinner party and wanted to answer the trivia question the same way; if I could have one conversation with one person living or dead, I’d pick Henry Miller. But I’ve never picked him because inevitably nobody would know who I was talking about or I’d be the odd man out in a hurry depending on the audience. The trouble is, some days, especially when I’m in Big Sur, I can’t get him or his orgasmic ( literally ) use of language out of my mind…
When I read Tropic of Cancer the first time, I didn’t get it. I suppose I read it simply because it had been banned and our teachers inferred it was about sex and pornography so reading it somehow felt rebellious. The second time around, I read it when I discovered that Henry and I shared a lover.. the rugged coast of Big Sur.
I was on a silent retreat in the monastery just up the hill from the Henry Miller Memorial Library and, like a magnet, was drawn to this crazy, bohemian celebration of his life and work. I bought his book on Big Sur and had to buy what became my second copy of Tropic of Cancer because I knew everything else failed in comparison.
If you happen to be unfamiliar, I’d like to just introduce you to Henry…. I think you’ll understand why I’d classify him as one of the hero’s of the 20th century and easily put his work among the great masterpiece’s of literature. I believe Henry Miller was a wisdom teller who blew people’s minds, opened people’s hearts and although he made many furious, he made us all better…
“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.”
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”
“Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.”
“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”