Monday, October 19, 2015
When Kat saw Patti
Last night, I went and saw a tribute to Patti Smith's seminal album Horses by four acclaimed Australian musicians.
My thoughts, while I was watching, went something like this:
1) This is a-farking-mazing.
It was an incredible tribute, where each musician not only paid homage to Patti but also put their own stamp on each song. And each being such phenomenal, authentic musicians, it made for an alchemy that would be impossible to manufacture.
And all of it brought Patti's poetry to shine. I couldn't help but be reminded that Patti was first and foremost a poet. The performance brought her words to life. It was, simply, beautiful.
2) I need to see more live music.
The physics of voices and instruments washing through me. The bodies inhabiting the stage. The bodies communing in the audience. There's nothing like being a part of that (and I was seated upstairs on the balcony!)
Specifically, I need to see more live music with my husband. He loves live music and it's something we did quite a bit when we first met. Actually, we just need more date nights. No, we just need date nights, period.
3) When did I get so neurotic?
This thought followed quite closely from the last. Every time I step out of my home and outside my usual school drop-off/school pick-up routine, I am reminded how big the world is. There are so many people out there! So many different types of people! And they are all leading their lives in parallel to mine. How rarely we connect, outside tightly controlled circumstances of my choosing.
When did life become about To Do lists, getting it all done, doing it all perfectly? When did my number one priorities become to get as much sleep as possible, have as much time alone as I can, seek silence wherever it hides?
When did my world become so small... small enough to fit inside my skull?
When did it all become about safety and control? When did I become the person who worries about everything?
I don't want to romanticise the lives of the other hundreds of other people in the room. And yet, seeing them there, being a part of their experience of this music, reminded me that there's more to life than my little daily world.
There's beers to be drank and songs to be danced to and a lot of slow kissing. There's laziness on lush green grass and sleeping in and late night movies and snorty belly laughs. There's galleries to be savoured and breakfasts to go cold for intense conversation and more, more coffee and perfume bought on a whim.
I used to do a lot of all of these things. And I seem to have convinced myself that they belong to a time that has passed... a time where I was living a life that "wasn't really me." I was trying to impress certain people I knew. Trying to be a bit more like Patti.
And now, almost twenty years later, I am living a life that really IS ME. I don't "work for the man" any more. I wear what I want. I eat what I want. I read what I want and a lot. I love my beautiful family and am excited about our renovation plans. I am living my life's dream, finally putting all my efforts behind my novel. I don't have to pretend anything to anyone (much) any more and can indulge my true introvert nature.
And Patti: she was a loving wife and still is a devoted mother. She's an avid reader, researcher, collector of experience. She has always been hard-working and responsible. Wasn't she one of the only people living in The Chelsea Hotel in the 1960s who did not have to try and sneak past Stanley Bard because she paid her rent on time? And she's nothing if not self-absorbed: in Just Kids, she wrote: "I was there for these moments but so young and preoccupied with my own thoughts that I hardly recognized them as moments."
So maybe Patti and I are not all that unalike in the scheme of things.
But last night, I became curious.
I mean, really? Isn't there more to me than that?
Because sometimes, you know, I just want to pull on a pair of tight jeans and shake my hair loose and drink a lot of beer and just DANCE.