Just Kids

I finally read Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”, a beautiful account of her love, friendship and creative relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, on the flight back from NY to LA. I’d been anticipating the book since I first found out about it in late 2009 but somehow this past year sped by and I only now found time to read it. It took only a matter of hours because the book grabs you and will not let go from the first page. I read it with both awe and envy, not only for their obvious luck in finding one of their soul mates so early in life and being able to grow together during such an extraordinary time in their own lives and the cultural life of NYC but also because they changed the world just a little with their work. Everything seems so different these days… art and the creative process in general seems so calculated, marketable and so little is as organic as it was then. I cried relentless tears as I read the last chapter, for so many reasons. I can’t remember the last time a book moved me this much or filled me with so much joy and sadness. There are some books and works of art you read or see and it is fun and enjoyable, and there are others you know will change your life, will transform you a little and make you remember something about your own soul, your own dreams and your own goals still left to live out. This is one of those books. With as much rawness and soulfulness as they created art with, Patti Smith has created yet another work that will change the world just a little. This book is a reminder of the artist in all of us who could never dream of living a life other than the one we have, who could not walk a path different from the one we chose, no matter how difficult it may seem in the moment. Art is the greatest gift.

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