WIB Editor's Note: I asked Wesley to write a guest blog for me about the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, knowing that Vonnegut is one of his favorite authors. Wesley replied, "I can't remember the last time I had such difficulty writing something... because there is no author in my life that has impacted quite like Vonnegut. How do you find the words to some up a man that gave words and definition to your philosophy on life?" WIB presents guest blogger Wesley Magee.
A friend of mine recently asked me what I intended to do with my future on this earth. At the time, I thought the answer was too complicated to be summed up in a short conversation. I was wrong.
With the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, one the most prolific American authors of the past century, we are provided with a greater opportunity to reflect on life the way he always did: through a very small window containing moments that take us from one person/place to the next. Nothing more. We scramble around in a world of information attempting to amass greater knowledge about the things that surround us with brains growing at a rate that will eventually destroy us (Galapagos), when the most important things we need to remember are the names of those that surround us and care.
Vonnegut lived every moment as an adventure in the hearts of others. As a man who has written 14 novels and countless short stories, essays, and plays, (many were best selling and eventually made into movies) he even approached the writing process with the same “simple,” “personal” attitude. Choosing to always send out his writings to be typed and refusing to buy multiple envelopes or stamps, he awarded himself the opportunity, at the end of every piece of writing, to take a walk down to the corner store. While most of us would have regarded this as an inefficient waste of time, he saw it as an opportunity to talk and be around people (it also didn’t hurt that he had a crush on the girl behind the counter). Just fart around. It’s what we do best.
For those of you out there wishing to emulate the life of a man who lived life by his rules, take his advice: "If you really want to disappoint your parents, and don't have the nerve to be gay, go into the arts.”
I will end my note honoring Vonnegut’s life by reflecting on his death the way he would have preferred. With the same numb understanding that death is a part of life we all must go through. Kurt, you will be missed. “So it goes.” (Slaughter House 5)