Monday, 16 January 2012

Girl Crush Monday - Patti Smith

I'm really excited to welcome Carolyn Crane to the blog today to share her Girl Crush! I've been looking forward to finding out who inspires her for some time!

Girl crush: Feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl. a non-sexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level.
Urban Dictionary

It was easy to come up with my girl crush: Patti Smith.

Patti Smith is widely known as a singer/songwriter, and one of rock’s most important innovators, but she’s also a poet, an activist, a visual artist, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and just an amazing person.

Now for the hard part. Because while I absolutely love love love her music, it’s not specifically her music made me pick her as my girl crush. And it’s not her journey to fame or struggles and triumphs that inspire me. In fact, I’m not even much of an expert on her life.

More, it’s something about her spirit, her strength, and her way of being in the world that puts her in girl crush territory for me.

Sometimes when I listen to her music, or when I hear her just talk, I feel like her voice has this raw, truthful power—this mix of artistic bravery and vulnerability.

That artistic bravery and vulnerability is a big part of it for me. And, if you know her music, you know her lyrics are very visceral and creative. And also, she’ll do these stream of consciousness riffs during songs. When I hear that, I have this sense that she is connected to something important deep inside herself and isn’t afraid to go where it takes her. I think that makes her an awesome role model for any writer, any artist, really.

Instead of following a well-worn path, Patti Smith tried new things in music and in life. I have this feeling about her as a woman who trusts her gut and her vision. Not that she’s closed to influence and feedback—I think she’s very open to everything that comes at her—I think most strong artists are. But, she clearly has this bold vision and this fierce will to march to her own drummer, so to speak. I love that about her. She is completely unique and expressive, and doesn’t seem to care what people think. OMG, this is the most incoherent guest post I’ve ever written!

I’m reading over what I wrote and thinking to myself, You don’t even know Patti Smith. You could be projecting all this on her! Idealizing her!

But then I go back to her music and to that raw, truthful, brave, vulnerable quality of voice she has and I know that I’m exactly right about her. And I know from everything she has recorded that she has a huge heart and loves things deeply. Rock on, Patti!!


Carolyn Crane lives in Minneapolis with her husband and their two cats. She is the author of the Disillusionists Trilogy (urban fantasy). Website: Twitter: @CarolynCrane

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