J-A Letter to Jim Morrison-The Doors.

Hey Jim,

How are you?

I probably shouldn’t ask. However, I can’t help hoping things have changed, after having so much time to reflect? Any regrets? Or, did you finally find what you were looking for? Indeed, have I woken up the wrong dead poet and should’ve left you alone?

Of course curiosity beckons. Have you finally experienced William Blake’s “doors of perception” and are in a different zone:

 If the doors of perception were cleansed

everything would appear to man as it is, infinite

 For man has closed himself up, till he sees

all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

 William Blake: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Sorry I’m so full of questions but it’s not every day you get to speak with Jim Morrison. Your songs still move me. Move mountains of people!

However, as yet, you haven’t said a word. There’s only silence.

So, what should I do? Leave you alone or venture in? Turn on the light?

Unexpectedly, I spot a ladder sticking out of a hole in the road. Curiosity beckons. Where are you? Hiding somewhere within this subterranean labyrinth and is this some kind of unconventional invitation to come inside? You’re not making it easy to find you! The more you play hard to get, the more doubts I have. Should I really be risking self-destruction dancing with the dark side, when I have so much to lose?

However, I have no choice!

After all, when you talk about famous graves, yours is almost tops the list.

DSC_0901

I remember when I was last here at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Summer 1992. The crowds were contemplatively gathered around your grave and all roads led to “JIM”. It was all quite strange, surreal. Why would anyone seek answers from someone who seemingly combusted in the dark? I don’t know. Yet, I was there too…taking photos.

DSC_0903.JPG

Photo: Rowena Newton

Of course, the crowds probably don’t know you’re a poet. No! You’re Jim Morrison the legendary singer from The Doors. Yet, you also wrote and published your own poems. They mattered and were part of you, just like my poems are an intrinsic part of me.

Now, I am back and staring at the ladder sticking out of the road. Instinct tells me to simply walk away. I’m now a grown-up, married, kids, mortgage, two dogs…I don’t need to dabble in the dark and should be sticking to “sunny side up”!

Yet, what did I say about The Road Not Taken? Being a traveller exploring new worlds? If I didn’t know better, you could even mistake this hole for a certain rabbit burrow and I can almost envision the Mad Hatter’s tea party going on down below.

There is no holding back. I’m poised on the edge of the ladder ready  to explore the depths of who you were and what happened, even if this only is a fleeting stop on my way through an A-Z of dead poets.

I hope you’re not offended but this could well be a quicker stop than most. I don’t want to get bogged down and consumed by the dark. At the same time, knowing there are people drowning right in front of me, how can I just switch off? Switch off the light when these seekers need it most?

As you said:

We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.

-Jim Morrison

Indeed, I wonder if they’re desperately seeking the light but have somehow lost their way and wound up here… sitting round your grave lighting candles expecting goodness knows what.

DSC_0902

The Great Quest For Meaning: Jim Morrison’s Grave. Photo: Rowena Newton.

Perhaps, I should say hello. Give them an Aussie “G’day Mate” and see how they respond. After all, this journey isn’t just about me and staying in my comfort zone but also turning myself inside out and all that entails. Think with my heart and reach out.

Once you think with your heart, you have to move beyond self-preservation. Step far beyond your comfort zone and walk right out onto that ledge. You can no longer retreat and play it safe. The eyes of your heart have seen. You can’t turn back. After all, I was lost in Paris once and no one let me drown. My friends held on.

That doesn’t mean I’m not afraid.

Paralysed at the top of the ladder, I’m absolutely terrified. My body’s glued to the spot, although my breathing’s accelerated like a locomotive and is moving into full throttle. Just when I need to have my wits switched on, everything is spinning, whirling all around me in a pixelated haze. I want to make it stop. Slow down. Put on the brakes. But I can’t. I’m only a spectator caught inside your head. Or to be precise, still peering in over the edge. Your sub-conscious is lurking down below and as much as I want to get close and unlock its secrets, I don’t want to fall in. Get stuck in the abyss.

Tentatively, I take a step down through this dark and slippery slime. Then, another.

It’s so dark, pitch-black and the rain’s pouring in.  Any moment I could slip and fall to my death. Hush! Someone ‘s crying. Crying so much, there’s a flood. They’ve been crying for so long, all around that lump of stone… your eternal home. You’re all around here. All roads lead to “JIM” as if you had all the answers. So hard to understand when you somehow lost yourself?

Back in July 1992, I also sat by your grave. I wasn’t looking there for answers but I’d already had words with Rodin’s The Thinker as well as Mona Lisa. Neither could explain why I’d been dumped in Paris, the so-called “city of love”. Or, why my heart was ripped unceremoniously out of my chest and dumped in the River Seine. My love was too much and I was simply left deserted at Gare du Nord with my life in my backpack and four plastic shopping bags. Like so many, I only saw love’s roses and forgot all about the thorns!

Why did it have to hurt so much? Completely crushed and yet somehow I still woke up. Escaped oblivion.

Poetry Reading

Taken During My Poetry Reading at the Shakespeare Bookshop, Paris 1992.

I wasn’t alone. While I was talking poetry at the Shakespeare Bookshop, I met another of love’s broken casualties. With his husky Gauloises -Brooklyn accent, his lover had hurled his guitar over the edge of Pont Neuf and into the River Seine. Now, all he had left were his poems. Actually, I think he might’ve slept at the Shakespeare and was what they called “a Tumbleweed”. I don’t know.

Anyway, after all these years, you’ve become a destination on a tourist map. Somewhere to say you’ve been. Have a selfie with Jim!  Am I the only one who finds that weird? Then again, as my kids keep reminding me, writing letters to dead poets is weird. Selfies are actually normal but a very strange kind of normal.  I am conspicuously absent from my photos but just you try taking a selfie with an SLR? It’s very hit and miss.

Oh! Perhaps, I should’ve told you that we’ve stopped using phones to call people and now use them as cameras and for sending texts and photos. Indeed, we post photos of ourselves on this place called Facebook saying: “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!” You would have loved it! Just think how many friends you would’ve had, although I doubt they would have saved you!

All I can say, is that sometimes we crawl way too deep inside our own darkness . Even when the chips are down, we still need to edge towards the light, without burning up in the flame. Easier said than done.

Actually, I’m wondering where my own head will be after being immersed in this  poetry soup for over a month. You would think all this poetry would be uplifting. However, if that’s the case, why have so many poets flown straight over the edge?

Balance. That’s the key and that’s what I have in my family. These supposedly annoying interruptions to the flow, might actually be bringing my feet back down to earth and keeping me grounded. Right now that includes dealing with a crazy mutt who rolled in something dead and is off to the shower. It seems even my interruptions are getting “creative”.

Goodnight Jim. I hope you’re okay.

Best wishes,

Rowena

Patisserie Paris

Happiness in Paris.

This is the latest in my series of Letters to Dead Poets for the April Blogging A-Z Challenge. For a list of previous letters, click here: Alphabet Soup A-H.

24 thoughts on “J-A Letter to Jim Morrison-The Doors.

  1. TanGental

    What an intriguing choice. I found Morriston on in 1972 courtesy of a mad school friend. Never really liked the doors until I heard sttrange days. Never knew him as a post beyond his lyrics.

  2. roweeee Post author

    He was chosen mostly for the cult following I saw at his grave back in 1992. I do love The Doors and they played them a fair bit in the uni bar. I don’t own many CDs and I do own The Doors. I am doing two poets tomorrow. I know you like one and suspect you like the other. Both English. xx Ro

  3. roweeee Post author

    How funny is that. I was in Paris for a month to 6 weeks. From 13th July and left 8th August. We arrived for Bastille Day. It such incredible to finally get there after studying French for 6 years at school. I met up with my parents there as well as friends from home and we stayed at the Henri IV near Notre Dame. After my parents left, I remember eating a lot Baguettes with cheese and we hung out at a very cheap cafe in Saint Michel. I would love to go back but the current situation in Europe isn’t enticing.

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much for popping round, Betty. I like what you say about making choices. Some of the terrible outcomes are actually the outcome of a long line of smaller poor choices which eventually all add up. Being a parent, this great concerns me not just for my kids but also their friends. Growing up can be tricky.
    xx Rowena

  5. New Journey

    My-My you’ve been busy…enjoying your writings on the dead poets….enjoying reading the Haikus and poems from long ago….thanks…and looks like your enjoying it….its fun to read…love the way your addressing the poets…..xxkat

  6. Pingback: J- Jim Morrison: A Reply #atozchallenge. | beyondtheflow

  7. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Kat. I feel like I knew nothing before I started this challenge. It’s been so different reading their bios and trying to put myself in their shoes. I’ve learned so much. It’s also been quite challenging switching gears every day switching from Haiku in Japan, Jim Morrison in Paris and today I’m onto Keats. My brain is going to next a huge rest at the end of the month to let all the words settle. They’re like Autumn leaves floating around inside my head at the moment as as much as I love this full-on inspiration, I also need to switch it off. Hope you’re keeping well! xx Ro

  8. roweeee Post author

    I have to admit that even I with my ambivalence towards selfies think that has to be one of the ultimate selfies.
    I’ve been enjoying your series Stephen and thanks for popping by xx Rowena

  9. New Journey

    I am doing great…just spent a long weekend with my son…..first time I have seen him since Jan. 1st….and his break-up with his wife….it was a great time…lot of love and laughter….I needed it…..and I think he did too…..I am so enjoying reading your stories…they are so up beat about the poets…and interesting….love Jim Morrison…..and of course I will be reading….and I agree your going to need some down time after this…LOL kat

  10. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, so sorry to hear your son’s marriage broke up. It’s not something I’ve really experienced at close range aside from when some friends of ours split up from Church and it divided so many people. Hope your son and yourself are travelling okay!
    Take care xx Rowena

  11. New Journey

    it looks like maybe it was for the best….they have remained friends and are taking a trip to South America together that they had planned….shes a sweetheart, and a feisty one at that!!! But he seemed at peace with the break up and the happiest I have seen him in a couple years….still a sad event for all of on the outside looking in….thanks for caring…kat

  12. roweeee Post author

    You’re welcome. Mustn’t be easy for you, either. I wouldn’t know how to be in your shoes. Never thought of that before. My kids are yet to go on a first date and hopefully that’s a way off yet. I did drive my son to drop off a Christmas present for a girl when he was 5. Her family owned the local pet shop and I was told to hang back and let him do the talking. So funny! Take care xx Ro

  13. New Journey

    I love it….I can remember the first time my son wanted me to drop him off across the street from the school…couldn’t imaging the kids seeing him with his mum!!! broke my heart but I did it…LOL kids are so funny….yes get ready for the dating ride…your going to need a big stick to beat off the boys coming around for your beautiful daughter….she will break many hearts for sure…and your son will have girls following him around soon enough….Knowing that my son is happy helps….this was his second marriage already at a young 29…he married before, a young girl, as she wasn’t a women yet…couldn’t tell them anything…but that only last a year too…amazing at how much he gives in these relationships…this most recent baffles me, as she asked him to marry her, and then a year and later she said she wasn’t in love with him…??? crazy as I could feel the love….oh well not for me to figure out….as you can see I am confused about it, but was told by my son to let it go, he has and just wants to move forward in his life….all I can say is kids no matter the age keep it real!!! xxkat

  14. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much for popping over and I appreciate your comment. Sadly, this theme keeps repeating itself as I go through my list xx Rowena

  15. Pingback: Alphabet Soup Week 3 #atozchallenge | beyondtheflow

  16. Pingback: Alphabet Soup Week 4 | beyondtheflow

  17. Pingback: #AtoZchallenge Reflections…66, 652 Words Wiser. | beyondtheflow

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s