Thursday, January 7, 2016

Embarrassing and Magical Moments

On Monday night I went to see Patti Smith. I'm not a hugely knowledgable rock music connoisseur. I'm actually a barely knowledgable rock music connoisseur. But my partner Nancy is an avid Patti Smith fan and has seen her multiple times. I usually skip loud, live music but after hearing Nancy's raves after each time she's seen Patti, I was more open. Additionally, having read Patti Smith's book about her coming of age with Robert Mapplethorpe, my voyeuristic tendencies were sparked and I was motivated to go see this amazing character.

We went to the concert after a long day of work post New Year's vacation, so our mood was definitely mellow---- until Patti Smith came on stage. We learned during the coarse of the performance, that Patti Smith turned 69 years old this year. Truly the only indicator that would suggest that she has rocked for over five decades, was her head of stark white long hair.

The way Patti Smith jumped, sang, swore, spit and did spoken word rich with profanities and controversial material, was inspiringly YOUNG. I sat in the audience, mouth agape, thinking, "If I can bend my knees and scream like that in twenty-two years, I will be so happy!" Long story short, Patti Smith inspired the crap out of me. When we left the theater, I immediately googled "Does Patti Smith do Yoga?" I didn't find the answer to that question, but I did read this quote her in an article The Telegraph.

‘We just do it,’ she says. Smith suggests that she will never give a perfect performance anyway. ‘I’m a flawed performer – energetic and emotional and flawed. So my goal is that, if not in the beginning then somewhere through the night, we have an authentic connection. That the people and the band become one organism, going through rough moments, ludicrous moments, embarrassing moments and magical moments. That, to me, is what a concert is all about – and coming out of it feeling alive.’

At one point during her concert, referring to her infamous spitting ritual, Patti Smith said, "I spit out of necessity" suggesting that it's just part of this organic experience she creates. In reading Patti Smith's description of her experience with the band, I found myself (surprise, surprise) imagining my experience in a Yoga class-- "the people [in the room] become one organism, going through rough movements, ludicrous movements, embarrassing moments and magical moments." Sometimes it happens when I'm the teacher sometimes the student, but these embarrassing and magical moments show up at some point during every class.

If I can be half the bad-ass that Patti Smith is when I am 69, it will be because of Yoga. I'm not the personality type to take the risks and live the colorful life that Patti Smith has lived, but in the Yoga room, I can find a smidgen of what Smith describes-- finding an authentic connection, going through rough and ludicrous moments. Through it all, I come out feeling more alive. I'm still not a rock music connossieur but I am definitely a Patti Smith fan.


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