I love Joan Didion. I am currently in the process of reading everything she has ever written. I am poor, truly poor, in the sense of the word, monetarily speaking. I am rich in love. No matter. I think it says something though that I spent some of the few dollars I have on a new copy of, Play It As It Lays. I love the touch and smell of a new book in my hands. I love to crease and mark the pages, water droplets from my hair wrinkling the paper while I read by the pool. I love to rest them on my bookshelf when I am finished and peel through the pages years later trying to remember who I was when this specific book found it’s way into my hands. I just finished, The Year of Magical Thinking. I doubt I have ever had such a visceral response to a book. I cried in public. I don’t cry in public. Didion, as she always does is beyond a master, with her words. I will aspire to weave sentences like hers, with depth and dexterity, until the day I die. I doubt a death will ever pass in my life without the rereading or handling of this book. I was somewhere in the thick of it when Alex passed away last week. I fell into a daze, one that only Didion’s words could cut through. And I found it ironic, perfect, lifesaving, that I had begun reading this book at the time I had. This book is heart wrenching and hand holding and a true look at what it means to share your life with someone. It brought me a state of mind that I was both fearful of and now thankful for. I suppose our greatest false assumption is that we have time. Didion dances a fine line of reconstructing her marriage, the loss of her husband, the negotiation of her surviving daughter, and how she herself lives through that first year, in a poignant and devastating fashion. “Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.” -Didion.
“We are not idealized wild things. We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.”
― Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking