“Those who have suffered, understand suffering…”

I am feeling grateful today for my friends, my family and my Faith.

I am feeling grateful for the power of music and poetry.

I am posting Words from one of my Poet muse mentors and a Woman who helped me become the Woman who could overcome and become something larger than I ever imagined. She did this on vinyl turning circles on the turntable. Words Turning Circles.

Patti Smith. The Godmother of Punk and one of the Women who raised me.

These are words taken from her song Rock and Roll Nigger on the album Easter.

God Bless Words and Poets and Love and Faith and the ability to overcome and to become something Greater.



(those who have suffered, understand suffering,

and thereby extend their hand
the storm that brings harm
also makes fertile
blessed is the grass
and herb and the true thorn and light)

I was lost in a valley of pleasure.
I was lost in the infinite sea.
I was lost, and measure for measure,
love spewed from the heart of me.
I was lost, and the cost,
and the cost didn’t matter to me.

~ by Step On a Crack on October 7, 2011.

6 Responses to ““Those who have suffered, understand suffering…””

  1. The pain and suffering has made many a fertile poet!


  2. Patty Smith rocks! What a great quote. The lyrics you’ve posted here are especially poignant…


    • A Fellow Traveler! The Godmother, NO Doublt! If you EVER get the chance to see her live GO! Period! Sell a kidney if you must…
      Her presence and Heart are overwhelming. Have you heard Babelouge and Rock and Roll Nigger? First spoken word with music. Babelogue is Slam at its finest and She can Spit. Alan Ginsberg encouraged the young Poet to pick up the guitar. One more thing to thank him for, ehh?

      Nice to ‘meet’ you. I love your blog by the way. One Day at A Time, with Humor! Peace, Jen


  3. I’m not certain that it’s necessary to suffer to understand suffering, but it’s like okra to me. I looked at it and thought I would like it. I wasn’t prepared for the slime factor. People who only observe suffering, but don’t taste it, aren’t prepared for the burning that leaves your tongue numb.
    I think that’s the bond in weeping with those who weep. We share, we carry together and we celebrate together differently.


    • I think that to really understand what another has been through, walking in their shoes helps. Ms. Smith has had tragedy in her life and her family has ALWAYS been her center. I believe that is what makes her a Poet who can move people.

      I do find that the more I talk about the past and the pain, the more I discover I have more in common with people than I thought. So many of us who were abused learn to keep quiet, to assimilate. That can be harmful. People who have walked in my shoes do tend to have a deeper understanding of my pain and vice versa. I think that the empathy that is born of abuse builds bridges.

      I also know that people who have not been abused have had their own pain. We all walk with pain, and we all bring it to the table.

      That is Grace, too.
      I can actually say ‘I thank my God for my suffering’ because it has built me from the heart out.


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