I was attending the annual Tibet House benefit concert yesterday at Carnegie Hall, which was actually one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. Among the performers were my new friend James McCartney, Michael Stipe, The Flaming Lips, Patti Smith, The Roots and Angelique Kidjo, among others. I found almost all performances captivating and compelling… But for me, personally, Patti Smith was the highlight of the night.
I was thinking about this on my way to Carnegie Hall on the subway…. Perhaps a little hard to put into only a couple of sentences, but, the here’s the gist of my thoughts: Carl Sagan said we are all made of star stuff. He said it because it is absolutely true and scientifically proven. We and everything around us originate from the stars. It is our responsibility then to understand our own star power! To see that we are perfect as we are. No need to look up to anyone, or down on anyone, as we are all made of the same stuff. It’s just about making the most of who we are.
Patti Smith really hammered home this concept last night. She was totally loose, completely at home with herself. As usual, she had dressed for the occasion looking like herself: no makeup, no hair styling-business, very casual wear. It was what she had to say–in words, in music, in her presence and engagement, that spoke volumes. There was a self-assurance, and utter freedom of spirit, that I sensed in her… It was fucking powerful!
This kind of woman would have intimidated me in the past. (And in fact, I had a very scary run-in with Patti Smith when I was 18…) But now, I find her so inspiring. Among all the surgically “corrected” and blow-dried women at the after-party, she was a beautiful exception. Trusting who she is, and being true to herself creates an aura around her, a charisma that is undeniable. She doesn’t need for people to validate her, she validates herself.
Patti Smith has discovered her own star power, which is rare in this world, unfortunately. I believe that we are all capable of that though. Understanding our own beauty, appreciating and trusting ourselves will make the star stuff in us burn brighter.
I end with this video. I don’t know if I’m just PMS:ing or something but I just got really emotional watching it… Enjoy.