from The Daily Flyleaf
We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Daily Flyleaf.
I am [redacted] years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Jeremy Kellerman.
Some say that Jeremy Kellerman is just a dream, or a mirage, or a hallucination, or a delusion, the kind of thing you see when you stare at The Sun too long. They say that there are no solid facts to prove that Jeremy Kellerman exists.
I see things written about Jeremy Kellerman but I have never seen him in person. The information I’ve found about him seems inconsistent and confusing.
My friends say that without proof, Jeremy Kellerman is just a fake. They say that I’d better move on, and accept reality, and get with the program, and live in the real world. They say that Jeremy Kellerman is nothing more than an imaginary friend, and that imaginary friends aren’t real, and that grown-ups are too old for imaginary friends. They say that grown-ups with imaginary friends are just crazy.
Please tell me the truth: is there a Jeremy Kellerman?
Chas “West Virginia” Eldergod
Ann Arbor, Michigan.”
West Virginia, your little friends are wrong. DEAD WRONG. WRONG!!!
They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They have been affected by the indifference of an indifferent age. They live in a world so focused on the means of connection that it has forgotten the value of connection. They live in a world of surveillance and they live in fear of appearing foolish. Worst of all, they are swept up in cynicism, which always reinforces itself.
They do not believe except they see. They do not feel except they touch. And even then, so many nerves have gone numb without notice.
They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds, which does not neatly fit into their established order. All minds, West Virginia, whether they be grown-ups’ or children's, are little. And all systems, like most butts, have cracks.
In this great universe of ours humans are mere insects, ants, in intellect, as compared with the boundless world about us, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge, and by the vast uncertainty surrounding our every revelation and discovery. We are but beautiful, fragile butterflies and/or moths next to the countless paradoxes that loom up behind every promise of certainty.
Yes, West Virginia, there is a Jeremy Kellerman. He exists as certainly as mystery and absurdity and possibility and paradox and love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. And you know that they are always there, within yourself, even when you can find them nowhere else.
Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Jeremy Kellerman! It would be as dreary as if there were no West Virginia. Or no Chas. Or no Jak. Or no Zach, no Brendon, no Matt, no Matthew, no Ryan, no Leo, no Scott, no Victoria, no John, no Chriddof, no Franklin, no Craig, no Cassandra, no Lauren, no Laurie, no Leonard, no Tom, no Bob, no Wesley, no Paul, no Alisha, no Irina, no Misao, no Jim, no Ahmed, no Patrick, no Shawn, no Keith, no Andy, no Tony, no Jesse, no Dane, no Chris, no Jim, no Omar, no Sven Hegedus.
There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no stimulating yet incomprehensible visions, no dreams, no blessed discomfort, no joyful confusion, no hilarious absurdity, no hope, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight, facts and figures, in bland vices and in dull distractions to pass the time. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Jeremy Kellerman! You might as well not believe in yourself! You might as well not believe in The Gumber!
You might hire men to watch every street corner in Ann Arbor to catch Jeremy Kellerman, but even if they did not find him, what would that prove? Jeremy Kellerman might not look the way you expect, or the way your neighbor expects, or the way your best friend expects. Jeremy Kellerman may appear differently to everyone who sees him, and maybe to some, he is invisible. Or maybe you just hired really unreliable men who took all your money and spent it on gambling or decorative nick-nacks.
But that does not mean that he isn’t there. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Finding them is a matter of slowing down, being in the moment, and searching within yourself. Jeremy Kellerman will be there.
He is everything about you that is foolish and flawed and arrogant and self-assured and deluded and self-conscious and uncertain and terrified and selfish and caring and hopeful and beautiful and creative and unafraid to keep trying despite every failure and always ready to celebrate success. He is everything about you that is paradoxical and complicated and simple and concerned for his fellow human beings and truly wonderful and alive and loving.
He is all the worst and the best parts of yourself, in all your shame and incredible glory. Every moment you’ve ever felt like a fool, and every moment when you felt like a fool but raised yourself above your self-doubt, you were Jeremy Kellerman. Every moment when you are frozen in terror or despair, and every moment when you push aside your anxiety and decide that no matter how foolish you are, you’re going to embrace yourself and be beautiful, you are Jeremy Kellerman. And every moment when, however rare it may seem, childhood’s strength returns to you, and you have no self-consciousness, and you create without any question that you are wondrous and capable of creating beautiful things, you are Jeremy Kellerman.
Did you ever see “The Jeremy Kellerman Advice Hour” on WXVH, Channel 23? Maybe not, but that's no proof that it isn’t there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. And we can’t test a hypothesis until somebody’s crazy enough to create a hypothesis. And we can’t even be totally sure of, like, the scientific method, because, like, maybe there’s some weird thing happening where we’re all sharing the same delusions. And what if what I think of as “blue” is totally different than what everyone else perceives to be “blue” and we don’t even realize that we’re using the same word for two totally different things?
And who knows, there might be like, alternate dimensions overlapping or something! It’s really crazy. Maybe we can never really know ANYTHING. Holy crap, thinking about this is really weird. I’m kind of freaking myself out right now.
So maybe we should try to be patient with each other and proceed with caution and be kind and hope for the best.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Also tearing apart babies’ toys is really horrible and mean and don’t do that, otherwise you suck.
Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Is Jeremy Kellerman, and his uplifting kindness, just a fake? Ah, West Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Jeremy Kellerman! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. It’s only a matter of finding him. A thousand years from now, West Virginia, nay, ten times ten times ten times ten times ten times ten times ten times ten thousand years from now, without having aged a day, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.