Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Mama Patti Goes On WIthout Me
Patti Smith read from a new/old book tonight at "St. Mark's Books, and I had planned on going, even though this plan was pure fantasy. Tuesdays, my spouse works late and I needed to be home with the kids on the first school night of the new year. It made me feel very self-sacrificing but not in a positive way. I just felt deprived (and then guilty for feeling that way), and it made me realize again how difficult it is to get artistically fed as a parent. My one consolation is that I felt Patti, herself, would have understood. I remember reading that someone has asked her with disdain why she hadn't done anything in the '80s--it seemed like she had disappeared, they said. She replied that she had been raising children in Detroit; what more could she do than that? Motherhood: it can swallow you whole. Most of the time, that feels good and right. Sometimes, I just feel obliterated.
New Year's Day of 2002, I took my six-week-old baby out into the night to keep her from crying. She had colic and if I kept walking, if I kept her surroundings unfamiliar, she would sleep and not cry. I ended up at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery at their annual New Year's Day marathon reading--their benefit for the Poetry Project (of which Patti is a veteran). It was so crowded in the sanctuary where the live performances were that I went in the back where books and food was for sale. The back turned out to the "green room" of sorts, and since it was so late in the evening, all of the St. Mark's "celebs" were milling around: Philip Glass, Lee Renaldo, etc, and Patti Smith, flanked by a small entourage. I took my baby out of her wraps, and Patti noticed in the way that people notice newborns, and she smiled at me, well, either me or the baby--I couldn't decide, but I took it as confirmation and encouragement. I needed a lot of that. Still do.
Today I worked on a story for an hour, but I need to do much more tomorrow. Much more!
Wore: my tights from yesterday with thick acrylic leg warmers pulled over them. Temperatures in the 20s today and tomorrow. I really need to change up my legwear if I'm going to make it through the winter. Just sayin'.
By the way, the photo is from Wikipedia Commons and totally okay to use, copyright wise.
And what is Amazon doing linking up with my page?