A Thank You Letter to Kurt Vonnegut (From the Archives)

I wrote this post on April 11, 2008 on the one year anniversary of Vonnegut’s death. It was a rambling ode to his works, his teachings and the lasting impression he had on a generation . . . and a dude named me.

Time is hopelessness. Time is mortality’s scratch. Time is inconvenience. Time is sediment. Time is a sleepless current. Time births, and it kills; within the same whispered syllable. Time carries a sweaty mad handshake. Time is voracious. Time is swollen blankness. Time rapes. Time abandons.

Time owns. Everything.

Time is parent to menacing fate and romantic destiny. Time is indifferent to the empty rooms as yet unfilled with pictures and carpentry and books and music and magnificent yard sale finds and rugs to curl your toes around.

Time doesn’t know what give means. Because give means smile and bend and sway. And time simply concerns itself with the taking. Time simply steals everything around it. Without remorse, without discussion, without flinch.

There’s time enough for nothing. So take chances. Hard, fat ones. Punch those chances with everything your guts can muster. Because those chances are borrowed time. And time isn’t well versed in the subtleties of understanding and patience.

But there is hope in the chance taken. And not for its seeming utility in the black and white of success or failure, but for its undertaking and only that. Too soon from now, no one remembers the wins and losses. But maybe they’ll remember the punch thrown. And if not, who cares? Because when you’re sand, you’ll have given time a fight. And it’s your place inside the moments not given, but earned, which tells your story.

Chances are precious yawns which I have oftentimes quelled out of ill prescribed necessity. I’ve masked my fear of the thatched brush of chance’s path with an arrogance borne of wellness and good fortune. I was drunk when I should have been sober and sober when I should have been drunk.

Problem is, time still died. Chances still hung in disparate regiments, orphaned by the frost of obsolescence. And to think, I took chances with the hardest hurt behind them but wavered on the ones connected to algebra.

Isn’t that the thing? I should have known this all along. I let time get in the way of chances, when it really should have been the other way around.

I have this time and chance thing all sketchy.

I am a silly man.

34 thoughts on “A Thank You Letter to Kurt Vonnegut (From the Archives)”

  1. B,

    I dunno about Vonnegut – I have never read him (i know, I am lacking. I can’t be the only one out there?) But this, if it’s anything like his writing – though, honestly, I recognise you, I am definitely going to have to pick up one of his oeuvres.

    As usual, Mr. Wordsmith, you have seduced me. And, as one who knows only too well the passage of time, and how it can be ripped out from under you, I am of the firm belief that it must be taken. It’s going to move on anyway. Might as well fill it with things that inspire, provoke, entice, scare, render you breathless….

    Peace and making time your own

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Q,
      There is plenty to choose from as far as Vonnegut is concerned. And as I told you, he’s a writer I read in high school and then not again for quite a long time. But it sticks with ya in things you read, experience, write. He’s there, tending to the scrum and making it all proper like. His absence from this world seemed a crushing void in that it always seems that way when someone of his ilk leaves us. The attempt on my part was akin to pacing in rhythm with a master of the written word. Be you, inside that genius of a man, and it becomes a thank you.
      Time is thankless, and yes to filling in the gaps with all those things you mention in your cosmic grocery list. Faith is jumping . . into the big deep.

      Beautiful finish! I can’t match that . . . YOU are a writer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I’ll definitely be checking him out. Another friend of mine raves about him…
        By being you, you thanked him most effectively and honourably.
        Time is ours. We choose.

        Oh, I’m sure you could if you tried… but I’ll be gracious and say thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy,
      Apologies for not getting to this before now. I’ve been writing and researching and I kind of let the blog go on automatic pilot for a week! But I love that you love this post. And I thank you for the wonderful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Outstanding, Marc. I love Vonnegut. He has been an inspiration and I think your letter is perfect. For those needed to get a bit wet in the genius of Vonnegut should try Jailbird. It is the story of a hapless fool in the basement of the Whitehouse who is caught with all the Watergate documents. Of course, he is the fall guy and goes to jail. The story is post-jail and a whole bunch of fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John,
      Apologies on being out of the loop this week. I immersed myself in the whole Woodstock thing and mayhaps got a little out of hand with my research into it, lol.
      I have never read Jailbird but I’m going to check it out. Sounds like my kind of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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