Zigs and Zags and Patti Smith

~Wrote this two days ago while flying out to SLC but didn't get a chance to post until now. Benjamin is having surgery this afternoon. Feeling more nervous about his recovery than the actual procedure. Fortunately he and I both have great support as he goes through this next challenge. He has an excellent team of doctors and his roommates are two very close friends who have reassured me that they will be at the ready and available to help him out with whatever he needs when he gets home. I am staying about ten minutes away with my best friend, Mimi Charles, from when I was a teenager and we seem to be more connected than ever after having lost touch for more than 30 years! We reconnected about 7 years ago when Ben moved out to Utah but had only seen each other once for an hour or two when I was out here 3 years. Life is strange and sweet amidst the challenges.~

Sitting on an airplane headed to SLC. My son Ben is having a surgical procedure the day after tomorrow on his eye- actually the optic nerve. It could be a fairly simple procedure- optic nerve decompression due to a rare bone condition that he has had since childhood- and I am more concerned about the recovery but it could also be a bit more extensive than what they are anticipating.

Flight zigs and zags- a 12-hour travel day. Providence to Baltimore, Baltimore to Detroit, Detroit to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to SLC. I hate writing on my iPhone but figure I may as well do something constructive!

Finished reading Patti Smith’s amazing book “Just Kids” en route. Didn’t plan so well- I didn’t want it to end, especially when I still have hours to go before arriving in Salt Lake. Somehow I didn’t take into account all the time changes and didn’t realize it was a four and a half hour flight from Detroit to Las Vegas! The upside of being stuck on a plane for many hours is being held hostage by creative artistic literary rock n’ roll inspiration.

What is it that gets me about Patti Smith? I had no idea how steeped in art her life has been. How did I not know so much more about her in years gone by? I knew she was a rock icon and a legend- every time I heard her music I loved it but I never chased her down- until last year when I read “M Train” and had my mind blown. Now I want to hear every song, read every poem, every book and see every drawing she ever did.

Part of what is so captivating is her humility and her unabashed honesty. It’s as though she looked life straight in the eye and fell into it. The lack of ego is one of the most refreshing things in her writing. It was quite a contrast to Graham Nash’s autobiography which I recently finished and grew very tired of about 2/3 of the way through because I felt it was so full of ego. Somehow there was always the feeling to me that he was name-dropping and talking a lot about how fabulous he was, whereas with Patti Smith, even while she writes about meeting Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and other legends, it feels very innocent and natural. There is sense of detachment around it- like she’s just writing about her life as it unfolded in a very organic way. There is always a sense of wonder, simplicity and connection.

When I saw her in New Bedford in January I had the same sense- an invitation to be fully human with no shame, no hiding. It is a powerful and inspiring invitation, to be the fullness of who I am and to me the greatest gift of true spiritual teachers. The ones I have been most affected by are the ones who I feel are fully manifesting in every moment. So I guess I am adding Patti Smith to my list of great gurus. Thank you Patti.Sitting on an airplane headed to SLC. My son Ben is having a surgical procedure the day after tomorrow on his eye- actually the optic nerve. It could be a fairly simple procedure- optic nerve decompression due to a rare bone condition that he was born with- and I am more concerned about the recovery but it could also be a bit more extensive than what they are anticipating.

Flight zigs and zags- a 12-hour travel day. Providence to Baltimore, Baltimore to Detroit, Detroit to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to SLC. I hate writing on my iPhone but figure I may as well do something constructive!

Finished reading Patti Smith’s amazing book “Just Kids” en route. Didn’t plan so well- I didn’t want it to end, especially when I still have hours to go before arriving in Salt Lake. Somehow I didn’t take into account all the time changes and didn’t realize it was a four and a half hour flight from Detroit to Las Vegas! The upside of being stuck on a plane for many hours is being held hostage by creative artistic literary rock n’ roll inspiration.

What is it that gets me about Patti Smith? I had no idea how steeped in art her life has been. How did I not know so much more about her in years gone by? I knew she was a rock icon and a legend- every time I heard her music I loved it but I never chased her down- until last year when I read “M Train” and had my mind blown. Now I want to hear every song, read every poem, every book and see every drawing she ever did.

Part of what is so captivating is her humility and her unabashed honesty. It’s as though she looked life straight in the eye and fell into it. The lack of ego is one of the most refreshing things in her writing. It was quite a contrast to Graham Nash’s autobiography which I recently finished and grew very tired of about 2/3 of the way through because I felt it was so full of ego. Somehow there was always the feeling to me that he was name-dropping and talking a lot about how fabulous he was, whereas with Patti Smith, even while she writes about meeting Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and other legends, it feels very innocent and natural. There is sense of detachment around it- like she’s just writing about her life as it unfolded in a very organic way. There is always a sense of wonder, simplicity and connection.

When I saw her in New Bedford in January I had the same sense- an invitation to be fully human with no shame, no hiding. It is a powerful and inspiring invitation, to be the fullness of who I am and to me the greatest gift of true spiritual teachers. The ones I have been most affected by are the ones who I feel are fully manifesting in every moment. So I guess I am adding Patti Smith to my list of great gurus. Thank you Patti.

 Credit Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Credit Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images