Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Enigmatic read. Stories like her Polaroid photographs, collaged together.
Sometimes I am loosing touch with what I am reading, because I am taken on my own journey by her musings and by her melancholic voice. It is like a reading meditation.. it’s lovely to get lost in your own garden of thoughts in such a way..
7/ .. some guy with a greasy ponytail leaned over and puked on my boots. The last gasp of 2015, a spray of vomit ushering in the New Year. A good or bad sign? Well, considering the state of the world, who could tell the difference?”
Always amazed how much she reads! In every of her books I discover some new authors that I mark for myself “to read”..
While reading this personal account of 2016, was thinking back of my own version of it. The Time Perspective conference in Copenhagen.. recently over various conversations was transported back into that year and the one that followed it, 2017.. Both were turbulent in different ways, but also with pockets of very peaceful times and places. Lots of travels, dancing, drawing and painting, beginning of the musical journey as well..
42/ .. book he’d set on the table, Pascal’s Arithmetical Triangle
– Are you reading that? I asked
– You don’t read books like that, you absorb them..
I think I absorb books by Patti Smith more, than I read them..
20/ “the trouble with dreaming is that one can be drawn into a mystery that is no mystery at all, occasioning absurd observations and discourse leading to not a single reality-based conclusion.”
Theme of the dreams and dreaming – echoes in me every time, and my project on the topic somehow finds its way into other people’s books. I keep on thinking of dreams and dreaming described in The Khazar’s Lexicon by Milorad Pavic.. still entertaining the idea of making illustrations to some of those passages.. dreams travelling from people to people and through time.. my Dream Guardians project that started in 2017 about the goddess that dreams the world and we should not disturb her sleep if we don’t want out world to disappear.. and mysteries and melancholy that permeates Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book..
31/ .. – let’s say they were real, does being inserted by Bolano within a work of fiction render them fiction?
– the writer must know his characters so well that he can access the content of their dreams…
– who creates the dream? …
79/ I notice that my own tears burn my eyes, that I am no longer a fast runner and that my sense of time seems to accelerating.
Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”: Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to live”. .. he asks us to note the passing time with open eyes..
80/ The Game of Havoc: Havoc, an uppercase game with a lowercase deity, spelling nothing but trouble for the unwary participant. One finds himself assailed with components of a dreadful equation… … unsuspecting Dorothy in a hypnotic fields of Oz..
82/ My logic may have been full of holes but so was Wonderland.
The hare presided over an endless tea party, as calculable time had been slain long before the party began. It was the Hatter who did the slaying, spreading his arms and singing the immutable Wonderland theme.
When Johnny Depp embraced the role of the Hatter he too was drawn into this multiplicity of being and ceased to be just Johnny.
Will we die a little?
78-79/ Ten thousand years or ten thousand days, nothing can stop time, or change the fact that I would be turning seventy in the Year of the Monkey. Seventy. Merely a number but one indicating the passing of a significant percentage of the allotted sand in an egg timer, with oneself the darn egg. The grains pour and I find myself missing the dead more than usual.
Lots of existential themes in this small passage: time, getting older – changes in own body, death and dying, loosing close friends and relationships, aloneness.. in Yalom’s words: “the inevitability of death for each of us and for those we love.. our ultimate aloneness..” My mom turned seventy in 2019.. very similar discussions we had with her, especially about “missing the dead”..
122/ Cammy and Ernest and Jesus and the blonde, all characters in an alternative reality, black-and-white cutouts in a Technicolor world. .. A world that in itself was nothing, yet seemed to contain an answer for every unutterable question in early winter’s impossible play. ..
170/ not exactly a telescope but an instrument of beyondness.
175/ standing our ground with mental plow, burdened with the task to stay balanced in these unbalanced times..
– > I find this is still relevant although Smith mentions that this book might seem irrelevant years after all of the events of 2016 and 2020. But 2022 is even more unbalanced, and we are even more burdened with the task to stay balanced and standing our ground with the mental plow..
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Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith