“trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.”
– e.e. cummings
images: the golden filter.
There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
– Lennon & McCartney
“a true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. but to live with a soul mate forever? nah. too painful. soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. a soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.”
— elizabeth gilbert
i just got through the part of just kids in which patti smith recalls her encounters with janis joplin and jimi hendrix, shortly before both of their deaths. to have lived in that time, and experienced first hand how extraordinary they both were, i can only imagine the profound sense of loss she and others back then must have felt. i wasn’t even alive yet but i am still incredibly saddened just thinking about it…i grew up listening to music from the sixties and seventies, and janis joplin was one of the first female artists i identified with. her and jimi’s performances at monterey pop are probably some of the best concert footage of all time, in my opinion.
i love the poem patti wrote about janis:
i was working real hard
to show the world what i could do
oh i guess i never dreamed
i’d have to
world spins some photographs
how i love to laugh when the crowd laughs
while love slips through
a theatre that is full
but oh baby
when the crowd goes home
and i turn in and i realize i’m alone
i can’t believe
i had to sacrifice you
her encounter with jimi hendrix took place at the opening of his electric lady studios in new york, when he found her sitting outside, nervous to go in.
“he spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio. he dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. it didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language. eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio. “the language of peace. you dig?” i did.”
this reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time, which comes from jimi hendrix:
following their deaths patti describes a feeling of uncertainty about her artistic direction.
“i was both scattered and stymied, surrounded by unfinished songs and abandoned poems. i would go as far as i could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations. and then i met a fellow who gave me his secret, and it was pretty simple. when you hit a wall, just kick it in.”
as i was reading i felt like i identified most strongly with patti at this point…full of ideas and creativity but uncertain how to express it. a few years ago i reached a point in my life where i felt trapped and my way of kicking down the wall was driving across the country, finding myself in san francisco.
much like patti’s time spent within new york’s rock and roll circle helped her realize her dreams, the creative energy of san francisco helped me realize mine.
“i was too curious about the future to look back.”
– patti smith
so shake the dust and take me with you when you do for none of this has ever been for me.
all that pushes and pulls, pushes and pulls for you.
so grab this world by its clothespins and shake it out again and again and jump on top and take it for a spin and when you hop off shake it again for this is yours.
– anis mojgani, “shake the dust”
image by derek wood.
i am very excited to announce our next book club read – just kids by patti smith! a couple of you recommended this book but it was literally yesterday during a conversation with our videographer that we chose it. here is what she had to say about it…
i’d heard friends talking about patti’s book and how powerful/inspiring/mesmerizing it was…
coincidentally i got tickets to see her play in new york for the new year.
i’m not much of a reader anymore, but…
i started the book on sunday – after seeing her perform which was downright amazing – and stayed up til 1am tuesday to finish it.
i don’t even feel like i can conjure up words to say what she’s already said – though when i read the last page, i texted my good friend,
feeling compelled to say “good lord, there’s good work to be done.”
i haven’t been so moved by a book in maybe…ever.
you’ll want to throw away all of your fears and reservations and excuses and go for it –
it being whatever the heck you want your life to be.
ok sign me up! i can’t wait to start reading it. i’ll give you all a week or so to get started and then i’ll start posting about it. in the meantime, here are some images of the impossibly cool patti smith.
amazing images found here; quote added by me.