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Posts Tagged ‘lover’

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In 1967, 20-year-old Patti Smith moved to New York and met her “soul mate,” Robert Mapplethorpe — a then-aspiring and since-celebrated photographer who quickly became her lover. They lived and worked together for the next 7 years. 22 years later, by which time they had long separated but were still close friends, Robert, 42, passed away after being diagnosed with AIDS.

In the days preceding his death, Patti wrote him the following letter. Sadly, he didn’t get a chance to read it.

Dear Robert,

Often as I lie awake I wonder if you are also lying awake. Are you in pain or feeling alone? You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist. I learned to see through you and never compose a line or draw a curve that does not come from the knowledge I derived in our precious time together. Your work, coming from a fluid source, can be traced to the naked song of your youth. You spoke then of holding hands with God. Remember, through everything, you have always held that hand, grip it hard, Robert, and don’t let go.

The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occured to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.

Patti

 

 

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I, Poppy23, promise to read.

I promise to read on my own, in print or on a screen, wherever books appear. I promise to visit fictional worlds and gain new perspectives — to keep an open mind about books, even when the cover is unappealing and the author is unfamiliar. I promise to laugh out loud (especially in public) when the chapter amuses me, and to sob uncontrollably on my bed for hours at a time when my favorite character dies. I promise to look up words when I don’t know them, and cities when I can’t locate them, and people when I can’t remember them. I promise to lose track of time.

I promise to read with kindred soul, if not every night, then whenever I can. I promise to remember that this person is more than my son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, landlord, or dog walker; he or she has a mind that, like mine, loves to be used and challenged. I promise to share books however suits us best, whether we choose to read to each other or simply get together for discussions and homemade baked goods. I promise to appreciate the time we spend together and the literature we meet, even when I am stressed or tired or sunburned (or an awful combination of the three), because books are better when they’re shared. I promise to do my best to meet our goal, whether that goal is to read for ten thousand nights or simply to get to know each other better. I promise never to give up on reading, nor let us give up on each other, whether we meet our goal or not.

I promise to support reading, however I can, and everywhere else for that matter. I promise to spread the word about words, whether it’s volunteering at my local library or just recommending good books to friends. I promise to speak out if reading is cut from the school curriculum, and to fight for books whenever their value is challenged. I promise to tell everyone I know how reading calms me down, riles me up, makes me think, or helps me get to sleep at night. I promise to read, and read to someone, as long as human thought is still valued and there are still words to be shared. 

I promise to be there for books, because I know they will always be there for me.

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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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