Patti Smith | Advice to the Young

    An artist can't expect to be embraced by the people. I've done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe fifty people read and you just keep doing your work, because you have to. Because it's your calling.

    But it's beautiful to be embraced by the people. Some people have said to me, "Don't you think that's the kind of success that spoils one as an artist?" Or you know, if you're a punk rocker you don't want to have a hit record. And I say, "no, fuck you".

    One just does there work for the people and the more people you can touch, the more wonderful it is. You don't do your work and say, "I only want the cool people to read it". You know, you want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by it.

    When I was really young William Burroughs told me...I'm really struggling we never had any money...and William, the advice William gave me was:

    Build a good name and keep your name clean. Don't make compromises. Don't worry about making a bunch of money, or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work. And make the right choices. And protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.

    To be an artist, actually to be a human being, in these times - it's all difficult. You have to go through life, hopefully you know trying to stay healthy, being as happy as you can. And in pursuing, you know, doing what you want.

    If what you want is to have children, if what you want is to be a bigger, if what you want is to live out in the woods, or try to save the environment, or maybe what you want is to write scripts for detective doesn't really matter.

    What matters has to be that know what you want and in pursuing it, you understand that it's going to be hard. Because life is really difficult. You're going to lose people you love. You're going to suffer heartbreak. Sometimes you'll be sick. Sometimes you'll have a really bad toothache. Sometimes you'll be hungry, but on the other end you'll have the most beautiful experiences....

    ...When you're suffering, just you know, it's part of the package. You look at it, we're born - and we also have to die. We know that. So it makes sense that we're going to be really happy. And things are going to be really fucked up. So just ride with it. It's like a rollercoaster ride. It's it's never going to be perfect. It's going to have perfect moments. And rough spots. But it's all worth it. Believe me, I think it is. You know what I mean?

    #thisisstoicism #amorfati