This is a picture that I got framed today and kept on my worktable in the office. Its a photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. I love both of them. Both brilliant artistes and iconic. One in the field of art/photography and the other in music.I also love this picture.It depicts the bond between two people who can/could never be apart. Great friends and lovers, the relationship was tested when Mapplethorpe discovered he was gay.But I guess people who are meant to be together, just be together, no matter what. There is such tenderness in this picture that my heart breaks at its astounding beauty.
Reading about their story in ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith, I cried at the letter she wrote him as Mapplethorpe lay dying.
Before I let you read the letter, here is what she writes: ”The light poured through the windows upon his photographs and the poem of us sitting together a last time.Robert dying:creating silence.Myself, destined to live, listening closely to a silence that would take a lifetime to express”.
Here is the letter:
Often as I lie awake I wonder if you are also lying awake.Are you in pain or feeling alone ? You drew me from the darkest period of my young life ,sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist. I learned to see through you and never composed a line or draw a curve that does not come come from the knowledge I derived in our precious time together. Your work, coming from a fluid source,can be traced to the naked song of your youth.You spoke then of holding hands with God.Remember, through everything, you have always held that hand, grip it hard, Robert, and dont let go.
The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking forward at all of your things and your work and going through years of work in my mind,that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.
That is all from the accidental sufi tonight 🙂
Have a great weekend,guys. Listen o Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad…enthralling.