Patti Smith’s Woolgathering

I just finished reading Woolgathering by Patti Smith. A tiny little pocket book more poetry than prose, and all truth. It’s a beautiful journey through bits of her childhood. She gently guides us into her childhood mind, and into her childhood world, and it is a lovely journey that I highly recommend.

I always imagined I would write a book, if only a small one, that would carry one away, into a realm that could not be measured nor even remembered.

I imagined a lot of things. That I would shine. That I’d be good. I’d dwell bareheaded on a summit turning a wheel that would turn the earth and undetected, amongst the clouds, I would have some influence; be of some avail.

-Patti Smith, Woolgathering

Don’t you want to write a little book? Don’t you want to be good? Go out and be amongst the clouds and help turn our precious earth. Go Shine.

Enjoy some words of advice from Patti.

Dreaming of Patti Smith

Where would we be without Patti? After reading her book Just Kids I felt inspired to know everything Patti. The life that she chose to live is the life that I imagine, the artistic life. It was a relief to read that she had to work at “jobs” to support herself before being able to survive solely as an artists. I often look to my life and I think of the hours and days given to other people for employment. I feed their dreams and their ambitions. It is especially hard when you are only doing a job for money and you have no connection to the work you are doing, you become acutely aware that you are helping to pay for your boss’s house, your boss’s vacation, your boss’s adventures, while you still rent, you never vacation, and all your dreams are in bits of paper on your floor in your rented room. I envision that these great poets had starved themselves for the sake of their art, and some of them did, and some of them had patrons, and some of them were revered before they ever needed to find a “real job”. Sometimes I need to hear that someone had to do what I have to do in order to just make it day-to-day, work just enough to eat and have shelter but the rest of the time is for your art. As I get older, I find it more challenging, especially as I watch my friend’s paths turn to building a family, buying homes and choosing secure careers (as secure as we can find right now that is). I think to myself that I am a failure in a job that has no personal growth, no pay increase, and no tie to what I find creative it is retail, it’s not even a bookstore. Thank god for Patti though, thank god she wrote her memoir, it reminds me that life is a path and a series of events and where you are right now is not where you will always be. I can still find my way.

I’m looking forward to seeing this film.