Before my personal-crash, I found our public library. So during all my down-time, I got completely wrapped into the world of Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorp in Smith's book, Just Kids. It'd been on my reading list for a while but knowing very little of Patti or her music, I didn't expect to connect with it as much as I did. The thing about Patti's story is that she discovered herself while strongly holding to her ideas of what's good. Most American stories we tell and retell seem to start out with like an empty stage or field, or a building or office... some very visible goal post where the story teller says, that's going to be mine someday. And then the rest of the story is about how he/she gets there. And those stories can be great, but I've never connected with them personally. Patti's story is one of wandering and discovery and chance friendships that change her life and direct her energies, all while she holds to her desire to create and find freedom and life wherever she goes.
Reading this was a great reminder to me that in this world, it takes all kinds, including my kind. I've never been very accomplished at the single-mindedness that those very American success stories requires. I love to hear those stories, especially from the people I love. And I love to work hard and make an effort in something I care about. But to get there - I like to see where the wind blows me. I like to meet the people with whom I cross paths - I learn the most from the people I wouldn't always choose or seek after if I had to make a list or something. I love exploring new abilities and interests while developing deeply into what I already know that I like. And it's wonderful to hear a story of a kindred-spirit.
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