Overcoming tragedies in our lives

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Petti Smith by Daily Yomiuri article From punk to peacemaker: The balanced life of Patti Smith:
n 1989, she lost her best friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the man behind the iconic cover shot for Horses. Five years later, Smith's husband, Fred (himself a member of prepunk legends MC5), and her younger brother, Todd, also died.

"I have more patience...less fear of death," she says. "I feel that each person that I loved very much that died, when they died, I felt more like them. More of who they are, and my memories of what I know of them, or their spirit was very strong in me," she says, adding that such experiences have made her a better person.

"My brother was a very kind and good person, and I feel some of his kindness. When I'm taking photographs, I feel I understand more how Robert Mapplethorpe was taking photographs. I understand in raising my children the mind of my husband. It's just, they are magnified. It's just like you have the essence of these people. They're not there anymore, and you're not taking them for granted or half listening [to them] or whatever. You know, when people die, it's not the end of communication with them," she says.

A year after their deaths, Smith met Sebring, and during the filmmaking, Smith lost her parents.

"I am still learning from my mother, still feeling loved by my father," she continues. "The other thing is you learn how to listen more--to listen inside yourself, listen to the spirits, listen to the wind, nature. Listen."


  1. Very good food for thought, Taylan-san. I'm also really curious what the breakdown of the experiences that make us happy/sad might be. But most importantly, as stated, is to speak our truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant no matter, because everyone has their story.
    However lets face the fact of today: question is how many of us listen to each other? Everyone is impatient.

  2. We are so into ourselves; our stories, our own interests. We don't have the energy and time to listen others. If we leave our own "self-centered" world, we can see that others need us to be listened too.

  3. You're so right. Self-centered world, in other words 'egoism' prevents people to be happy. Doing the right thing is hard, and there are aspects of our own nature that lead us to sometimes struggle with doing what's right. However it's a mistake to respond to this challenge by rejecting the task of seeking altogether the fulfillment of others wants and desires. For sure, it's neutral why a person would be highly motivated if/when acts in a particular way by connecting actions and following mutual interests.

    This makes a lot of sense, don't you.