One of the first people to read The Rucksack Letters called it “The Odyssey for the new millennium.” I was shooting more for On the Road, but I’m not complaining. Ten years after conceiving the idea of making the journey and putting it to paper, it’s a bit more than interesting to read it again through older and, dare I say, wiser eyes. Yet here I am embarking on this odyssey once again.
In the Preface to the book, which I wrote in December 2005, roughly half way between the beginning of the journey and now, I tried to establish a market for the book. Homer had a pretty simple task of finding his target market in that there weren’t a whole heck of a lot of people telling writing stories like that in those days. And Kerouac had a pretty defined niche in the Beat Generation. Although he, Ginsberg and the rest of them liked to shirk off the title, the success of their writing was largely due to that segment of the population all going in the same direction. For my book, it wasn’t so simple.
Ten years ago, there was plenty of disillusionment, one of the impetuses (shouldn’t that be impeti?) for getting me out on the road seeking a better future for myself. But honestly, how does one market a book about an adult with ADD who has lost faith in is religion, smokes incessantly, and visits an assortment of counter culture revolutionaries and intentional communities on his way toward a better understanding of himself and the world around him? Ok, now that I’ve said it like that, it actually sounds kind of good. Nevertheless, at the time that I put it into print, I didn’t have a lot of support in putting it out and I certainly didn’t have a lot of people demanding it.
I hope to put it back into print one of these days. The first chapter starts on July 5, 2001 so I’m shooting for that as a publication date. In the meantime, I’m to be posting some segments of the book as they speak to me. Since I mentioned the Preface already, I thought I’d start there…
I have no questions that the words that follow will bring disagreement on particulars, due in large part to my own glaring ego and the folly contained therein. This book is my journey, or at least a leg of it. And though the miles have been walked and ink is now dried on the paper bringing this particular journey to an end, my spiritual journey continues. For spirit is eternal, and whatever becomes of this mass of flesh known as Steve, my journey has only but begun.
May we enjoy the journey together in harmony and peace.