I feel like last night was an historic event.
Well, it was. For me.
What is that, when the pure unabashed humanity of another person allows you to tap into that deepest part of yourself? Not your soul. Nothing so lofty as that. Your raw wounded compassionate loving funny poignant beautiful authentic self just the way you show up in this world- flaws, foibles, warts and all.
That was An Evening With Patti Smith. Her black jeans, scrappy t-shirt peeking out from under her black vest and man's suit jacket, slightly over-sized. Unafraid of her age, nothing to hide, censoring nothing as far as I could tell...
She read, mostly from Just Kids, some from her new "little book" Devotion (which is small) (and which she said could possibly be read in one sitting on a bad day in the bathroom) and she sang a few "little songs". Right. Earth-shaking, from the core of her being, reaching into mine and most of the other 1200 people's in the audience as well, I am sure. Maybe there were a few who didn't get it, didn't get her- who knows. She is a simple powerful force- kind of like a tsunami. Her writing had already struck me that way. Her music too. But there was something even greater in her presence that kept my attention glued to her, all the while with a huge smile on my face and tears streaming down my cheeks much of the time. I couldn't take a picture or record a song because I did not want to break the trance for a second. I actually thought to myself that if I died last night I would be totally satisfied. That is how powerful it was for me.
I was with four friends. I was speechless afterwards. I pretended I could talk. But I felt like I was in another universe. It wasn't anything. It wasn't because I am somehow starstruck. More like awestruck- by the impact of total presence.
There is a line in M Train that made me feel like if I only read that one line I could be totally satisfied by the experience of reading something extraordinary. She is describing having fallen asleep for a while on her bed in a hotel room in the early evening in Mexico City. She is awakened by someone speaking through a distorted megaphone. "Disembodied words carried by the wind and landing on my windowsill like a deranged homing pigeon."
That may be my favorite line ever. Whose mind thinks this way? It's genius.
Here's a little clip from her show last night- I am so happy that someone has already put this up on YouTube.