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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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There is one YA author whose books I just can’t put down: John Green. I love John Green! He’s written Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, The Abundance of Katherines... I can’t stop reading his books because they really stick with me and because he has an amazingly funny youtube channel with his brother, Hank (Vlogbrothers). 

I love those lines in his books that you look at and say, “Wow. That’s just so perfect. It perfectly describes this situation/my life/etc.” For me, one of those is, “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” ……

And more:

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” Is probably one of my favorite lines from any book.

“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.
“Augustus,” I said.
“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed that that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have and I am in love with you.”

“What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”

 

P.S. Dear people, read read read….

Books are lost worlds waiting to be discovered.

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….and maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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