Patti Smith, one of the great rockers of the last thirty years, is on tour in Europe, and takes the time–via her coffeebreak blog–to remind us of something.
Hearing the people chanting Gloria in Paris when I faltered. Hearing
the people singing like a choir in Oslo to A perfect day. So beautiful
and touching that I stopped singing and wept. Sitting alone in the Zoo
Café in the Berlin train station having a coffee watching the
What have I found? The people warm and friendly. All ages. All
wondering what will happen in our world. What can one say? Bad things
are happening. We must make other things happen. Good things. Build a
parallel world. Celebrate that even in the worst of times we are alive.
A good example of "building a parallel world" are the folks at Friends of the L.A. River, who have begun resurrecting the river on which a great city was founded, a river later trapped in a straitjacket of concrete. They’re turning back the clock on the present-day ugliness, one drainage pipe at a time, in what the organization’s founder, Lewis MacAdams, likes to call his "forty-year art project."