I nudged myself closer to the ledge and closed my eyes and thought, Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space, and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying, When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing. The saying made my hair stand on end; it had been such cute poetry sitting on Alvah's straw mats. Now it was enough to make my heart pound and my heart bleed for being born at all.
Ah Japhy you taught me the final lesson of them all, you can't fall off a mountain. Whether you can fall of a mountain or not I don't know, but I had learned that you can't. That was the way it struck me. And that's what they mean by the saying, When you get to the top of a mountain keep climbing.
Dammit that yodel of triumph of ours was the most beautiful thing I ever heard in my life. I wish I'd had a tape recorder to take it down.
Those things aren't made to be heard by the people below, says Japhy dead serious.
By God you're right, all those sedentary bums sitting around on pillows hearing the cry of the triumphant mountain smasher, they don't deserve it.

-- Jack Kerouac, 1958


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