M Train is the second memoir of the legendary Patti Smith. Good-grief can she write. It is nearly a writers dream. Coffee, hours or reflection, and pages and pages of unfinished notes. M Train aches with nostalgia for a well-lived creative life. And it also gives young creatives a success to emulate. Don’t miss her first memoir, Just Kids.
Two of my favorite quotes:
Lastly, I focused on my pictures. I spread them across the bed. Most of them went into a souvenir pile, but those of the incense burner at the grave of Akutagawa had merit; I would not go home empty-handed. I got up for a moment and stood by the window, looking down at the lights of Shibuya and across to Mt. Fuji. Then I opened a small jar of sake. I salute you, Akutagawa, I salute you, Dazai, I said, draining my cup. Don’t waste your time on us, they seemed to say, we are only bums. I refilled the small cup and drank. All writers are bums, I murmured. May I be counted among you one day.
We want things we cannot have. We seek to reclaim a certain moment, sound, sensation. I want to hear my mother’s voice. I want to see my children as children. Hands small, feet swift. Everything changes. Boy grown, father dead, daughter taller than me, weeping from a bad dream. Please stay forever, I say to the things I know. Don’t go. Don’t grow.