Kerouac on art, love, and God

Art is a retirement from life that is sweet and beautiful and full of wise genius. While the lovers roam arm-in-arm beneath the boughs of the Forest, the artist sits under a tree and makes fine pictures and holds them up to see. He is in love with himself, but he is also in love with the others, because he shows them his fruits and works and cries -- "See? See?" Then, afterwards, he rests, and goes back to all of them, back to the arm-in-arm of earthly love, and they love him because he has done such a beautiful thing, he has celebrated their life and love, and he has come back to them. They say -- "How strange and beautiful is this one! -- this soul!" And it is true, as true as it is mysterious and compelling. "He is of us, he is us! -- but he is alone beneath his tree a while. He will rejoin us with his sweet productions." And they will say -- "He loves God as well as men and women, thus he must be alone awhile." "And what is God?" "God, Oh God is the sum of it, the sum of it all." -- Jack Kerouac (from his "Forest of Arden" journal)

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