“I wanted to sing. I thought I was going to be a singer. And I did everything I could to be a singer. I had tons of fantasies. I still have aspirations.”
AL: What I meant to ask you about is how you commemorate people when you’re not doing a show.
PS: Oh, daily. I mean I’ve lost so many people that I love. Robert Mapplethorpe was my best friend, I lost my young pianist, my brother, my husband, my parents, so many people in my life that I just find myself remembering them, sometimes writing about them, writing poems for them, saying prayers for them, or sometimes just talking with them.
I still consult my mother for guidance and my husband when I’m working on something like a visual project or a photograph and I have trouble. I often think of what Robert would say.
We can seek guidance from our departed, you know, as long as we listen. It’s a matter of listening. So, it’s not necessarily a dramatic thing or a sad thing, it’s just a part of my daily practice.
Sometimes in my travels I see a lot of churches. I really like to sit in churches, and if they have candles, I’ll light candles for everyone from my father to our ailing cat. It’s just integrated in my life. It’s not connected with any particular religion or anything, it’s just something that I do.
Levitt, Aimee. “Patti Smith discusses art, remembrance, and detective shows.” Chicago Reader. 27 Oct. 2014.
Wild horses often symbolize the uncontrollable instinctive drives that can erupt from the unconsciousness—and that many people try to repress. In the film, the horse and a boy form a strong attachment (though the horse still runs wild with his herd.) But local horsemen set out to capture the wild horses. The stallion and his boy rider are pursued for miles; finally they are cornered on the seashore. Rather than submit to capture, the boy and horse plunge into the sea to be swept away. Symbolically, the story’s end seems to represent an escape into the unconsciousness (the sea) as a way to avoid facing reality in the outside world.
—Marie-Louise von Franz on the 1953 French film, Crin Blanc
Jung, Carl. Man and His Symbols. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1964. 174. Print.
“The thing that makes an economic system like ours work is to maintain control over people and make them do jobs they hate. To do this, you fill their heads with biblical nonsense about fornication of every variety. Make sure they marry young, make sure they have a wife and children very early. Once a man has a wife and two young children, he will do what you tell him to. He will obey you. And that is the aim of the entire masculine role.”
—Gore Vidal, writer and public intellectual
sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
—John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Before the opening of the West, the stereotypic spinster was a horsy type, a woman with a loud voice or a gruff manner, usually suffering from unexplainable robust health. She was an unfortunate who sometimes found tolerance for her eccentricities if she lived in a family that endured her presence with reasonable good grace. She existed on their charity.
But when the Western migration began, there was a reversal.
Men at first continued to marry the Eastern beauties with pale skin, fair hair and tight corsets, trundling them across the prairies in covered wagons. But the journey was too arduous for many of these women, and their graves dot the landscape from Illinois to the Oregon Trail.
A process of natural selection began. The men wooed the stronger women, the sisters of the beauties, the women who would have ordinarily been restricted to a life of spinsterhood.
These stronger, hardier women made it West, and contributed to one of the freest eras for women in our history. No one could afford fainting spells when the Indians circled an isolated homestead. Pioneer women ran the farms, drove the wagons, and shot game, same as the men. Many of them became widows in that lonely, dangerous land. . . . And yet many of these widows continued westward, ran their own farms, reared the children, and endured the hardships of a new and raw life.
They were respected women, and the esteem in which they were held was reflected in the pioneering laws in the Western states giving women legal rights. In 1850 Oregon decreed single women could be granted ownership of land. In 1869, Wyoming become the first state to grant women the right to vote.
But the era of the independent woman didn’t last long.
As the West settled down, women reverted to the traditional images. The daughters of the pioneers shed their mothers’ independence and self-reliance, tightened and lengthened their skirts, and presented themselves as proper, civilized women waiting for the right man.
The forthright women were once again the spinsters.
O’Brien, Patricia. The Woman Alone. New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1973. 80-81. Print.
Wildcat 445. This is the engine that made Buick performance famous. The 401 cubic inch Wildcat 445 is rated at 325 horsepower while the compression ratio is 10.25 to 1. Electra 225, LeSabre Estate Wagons and Wildcat models come equipped with the Wildcat 445 at no extra cost. Actually, this engine is the design prototype for all the great Wildcat engines, now refined to a state of near perfection (but we always keep trying). Hard to find its equal for smoothness.