I have tried the Nook and the Kindle but I am always called back to the old trusty page turning. It just works for me. I wasn’t much of a reader growing up. I’m not sure why. I guess I was lost in other forms of imagination. But, now as an adult it is one of my favorite parts of life. I am not always in a reading space. I go thru long periods where I am not in the mood to read at all. But, then there are times when TV seems too loud and over stimulating (don’t get me wrong as you all know I LOVE LOVE LOVE TV) and when silence feels daunting or when the reality of my own alone-ness is confronting and somehow a book is just the perfect antidote. So when I am in the mood, getting lost in a book can be magical. It is true, that corny saying, that “a book is like a best friend”: I agree. A good book can be a wonderful companion.
Well, I was at the airport in NY and book-less as I headed home to LA. I went to the Hudson News and picked up Just Kids, by Patti Smith. I saw that Joan Didion had a promising review quote on the inside flap and thought, “this seems worthy.”
I didn’t know much about Patti Smith. I knew her fabulous face and her “look” and I knew Robert Mapplethorpe’s work. (The book is about their relationship.) But, I did not know much more and I certainly didn’t know they knew each other. Well, I recently finished the book and it was such a luscious read. Patti expresses the grey, the confusion, the beauty and the fear of emerging and allowing her voice to find itself so beautifully. I am always so inspired and encouraged by people who courageously own their experience. She expresses her story without shame. What a gift. What an example. And I love that she has such a memory of her journey and of her love for Robert and what happened between them. I am honored to have been able to swim in their discoveries.
Here are some quotes that have stayed with me and some favorite passages in the pictures:
-”it seems whenever I wanted to express injustice I never had the right lines” p66
-”sometimes he seemed lost. I would read his letters, wishing I could be by his side. ‘Patti’-wanted to cry so bad, he wrote, ‘but my tears are inside. A blindfold keeps them there. I can’t see today. Patti, I don’t know anything’.” p 83
-”Robert approached dressing like living art”. p118
-”Robert was a master of transforming the insignificant into the divine”. p121
-”I found myself in dark humor. One of those nights when the mind starts looping bothersome things”. p140
-”we needed time to figure out what all of this meant, how we were going to come to terms and redefine what our love was called. I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to the truth”. p20