Patti Smith (Polaroids) © Robert Mapplethorpe
I try not to drink wine and blog, but sometimes it’s really the only time I feel like sitting and devoting time to writing. So, here I am. Today marks exactly one week since my husband got laid off. Yes, that’s right. Laid off! By request, but still kind of a shocking turn of events for us. I’m happy to see him happy again. Happier than he’s been in a while. It’s also reinforced how important it is to do things with our lives that we care about. (When I say ‘our’, I mean that in a collective sense…not just his and mine.) This road we (again, collectively speaking) have chosen isn’t an easy one, but…really…what else are we going to do with ourselves? I’d rather have the highest highs and the lowest lows than the numbest numbs. I mean, if I’m going to be miserable, it’s going to be because of something I’m doing to myself; not because of something someone else is doing to me. Am I right? I’m right.
I also went to Photo LA this weekend. Eh. It was less depressing than last year, but there was no work that really stood out to me. I didn’t even buy any photo books which is something I almost always do there. I have been acquiring some tasty book treats lately, but I’ll save those for a future post. There was one wall where I did stop for a couple minutes. There were a few Robert Mapplethorpe prints of the black & white flowery still life persuasion. I’ve seen them before. We all have, but I recently read Just Kids by Patti Smith, and I wanted to look more closely at those prints. First of all, I absolutely loved the book. My only complaint is that it was too short. Smith is a beautiful writer. Her writing is intellectual without sounding snobby. It’s calm and subdued, but you absorb how strong her emotions run throughout the entire book. The only Mapplethorpe book I own is Polaroids: Mapplethorpe, and an image similar to the above Polaroids is my favorite in the whole book. Even more so, since I read Just Kids. When I first discovered photography in the mid 90′s, I thought Mapplethorpe’s work looked dated, and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was pretty and/or kind of shocking, but that was about it for me. Over time, I’ve researched more of his work – the earlier work, his paintings, jewelry, the self portraits, etc. It’s pretty brave, especially when you consider the time in which he was making the work and what he was announcing about himself to the world.
Anyway, the book is a definite advocate for going your own way in the world regardless of how hard it may be at times; being resolute in your path and your destination. I’m very fortunate to be on my own path. I’m excited for my husband to be on his own path for the first time in a while.