I got to thinking about what I liked about Kerouac’s “On the Road” when I was in college — how it did open my mind. I loved that it made it seem like there were different ways of living life beyond the small-town dull path. (See all the times I’m critical of that path in my college journals.) I guess that’s what I liked about that book, that sense of possibility. As an artist, I’m not as interested in portraying things (emotions, settings, characters) as I am interested in opening up — blowing open people’s minds (as the expression goes) and I still like having my mind blown open. (That’s why I love reading — that chance I might get blown away. I get that lately from poems more than from fiction or nonfiction.) It’s just that such blowing-open usually comes for me now from my own writing — from my journaling process, when I’ll have an insight or new idea that will cast my prior ideas and asssumptions into doubt. I love realizing that something I took for granted may not be so simple or settled.
— Mh, Journal, 14 May 2009
You realize what a risk you’re taking when you open yourself to new ideas. Hanging on to comfortable, old ideas is so much safer, easier. You might have to think or behave in a new way and that’s scary and tough.