'JUST KIDS' AND WHAT I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT
Found this in my drafts! Oops. Finished Patti Smiths first book and it made me feel all kinds of feels. Nostalgia, regret, drive, hope, sadness, inspiration. Here's what I can't stop thinking about.
- •About to get rull deep with my buddy P. Smith.
- •'Her' New York.I lived there for almost a decade and my version is so different from her's. I think about how the city's changed, if that kind of community exists anymore.
- •If I could've lived like that.Her accountings of how they got by seems pretty grim sometimes. Rundown apartments, bad health, no heat, no running water, no money to feed themselves. I don't think I could hack it.
- •How did they keep going?Throughout my years I've had a lot of times when I wanted to give up. When I didn't know if I was meant to be an artist. Because being an artist or creative person is fucking hard. So much self doubt and self loathing. How did they just 'know' this would work and they could do this? If I don't inherently know that, doesn't it mean it won't and I can't?
- •Material possessions are and aren't important.If you've read any of my lists you've probably gathered that I like objects. To me, they hold power, and memories and potential. Patti simultaneously imbues certain objects with power but seemed to live a large portion of her life without much attachment to them. I think a lot about how safe and how much joy my cobbled together possessions make me.
- •She learned to play the guitar a year before 'Horses'! And she was 25!Ish, don't remember the exact time line. But this fact to me was crazy. I grew up on AP magazine and emo/punk shows and the era of start when you're young and you'll make it. She knew all the right people and they liked her and her art and her crowd, so it was made to happen. There's something very liberating in this. I feel all this constant pressure about not having found my path yet or whether or not _____ is meant to be for me, but maybe I just haven't bought my first 'guitar' yet.
- •Fronting a rock band was not her Plan AShe was originally a visual artist and poet. Horses wasn't until she was 27(! She just did her thing, took (a lot of) chances, and trusted that things would work out somehow. Fuck.
- •Read read readI thought I read a lot but now I feel like a fucking slacker. I wish I had more of an affinity for classic poets. I wish I had read so much more, latched on so much more to inform my work. I feel like I've been splashing around the shallow end of the pool.
- •Is our culture killing creative spark and inspiration? Am I just too much of a perfectionist?Since moving my inspiration has grown brighter. But it's still usually so hard for me to focus on my ideas, or one thing. Sometimes I want to write but the thought of just sitting there, doing this one thing of expelling my thoughts, seems so wasteful? That I have to prioritize my time so it isn't wasteful. Creative FOMO. Patti and Robert had this sense of creating all the time, that anything they did led to something else even if it wasn't quite right. How do I let myself do that?
- •Doing what you love is not wasting your time even if it doesn't directly cause a positive outcome.I feel like I have constant FOMO with my time. If I'm not doing something that can be tangibly articulated, it seems like a waste. Sometimes I'm just doing my thing all day but then someone asks me what I did and it feels like I accomplished nothing and am immediately embarrassed. In such a product driven culture it's nice to be given permission by someone who already made it to be a little self-indulgent and do your art only because you think it's important. The rest will fall into place.
- •Find your peopleAnother tidbit of permission. That finding the place you're supposed to be, and the people you're supposed to surround yourself with, those that make your aura hum and your brain run wild, that's half the battle and it shouldn't be taken for granted or scoffed at.
- •No self doubtI find it crazy that it seems like Patti had this assuredness to herself. It never comes off like she was arrogant or narcissistic either, it worked. It never seemed like she second guessed her path or whether or not she was meant to do this. She just knew. Even though I don't think I've ever 'just known' it's a little reminder, however self-conscious I feel about looking arrogant, sometimes I have to fake that belief. And that I have to make other people see the spark I see in myself.
- •🙏🏼🙏🏼 Patti 😘