Just Kids

Just Kids by  Patti Smith

Summary: Patti writes so intimately the journey of artists in New York. She writes of aesthetic, personal growth and culture. She tells tales. She talks of Robert, her trusted friend, kindred soul, and how they walk through life together. Symbols rise out of the text and cast spells over the stories, making them hum with a sense of reverence for the dead and respect for life and beauty that artists breathe in and it circulates and flows out their drawing pencils.

Review: Robert and Patti make a beautiful pair, feeding off of each other’s artistic energies. This book weaves magic, the kind of beatniks, poor poets and how their lives soar because of the interesting people they meet, because of their beautiful work. Inspiring. This book revvs my own artistic heart, pining for my Robert, a moody soul looking for something. He finds it and I hope that we all do find that thing for our own life that makes it feel complete and fully alive. Smith’s words flow like a river of observation and sentiment from her eclectic heart. She gives possessions meaning. A leather jacket, a handmade tambourine. Reading about her gifts, given and received, I am reminded of my favorite gifts. The ones soaked in a person’s affections, handmade with its times taking imperfections. It took so long to make that installation, that poem, that beaded necklace with the fishing lure feathers, and yet it is unique, rough, raw, immediate, personal. That’s what I think life should be about.

Rating: 9.5 photographs infused with natural light and love

Favorite part: “The clouds kept moving back and forth. Something happened with his light meter and he became slightly agitated. He took a few shots. He abandoned the light meter. A cloud went by and the triangle disappeared. He said ‘You know, I really like the whiteness of the shirt. Can you take the jacket off?’ I flung my jacket over my shoulder, Frank Sinatra style. I was full of references. He was full of light and shadow… He took twelve pictures that day. Within a few days he showed me the contact sheet. ‘This one has the magic,’ he said. When I look at it now, I never see me. I see us.” P.250-251

Wine-pairing: On Photography by Susan Sontag. She explores the relationship between photography, experiences, sentimentality and living in the moment.

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