I’ll probably forfeit any Joan Didion-fan street cred by admitting I’d never heard of her until a couple of months ago. It gets worse. She came to my attention when I filled out that stupid Proust questionnaire at Vanity Fair when I couldn’t sleep. You know how they tell you what celebrities answer most like you? I alway get Joan Didion and Dustin Hoffman, so I made it my business to find out who she is.
She’s a writer, and a damn good one.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”
“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.”
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
The woman has 50 years of that stuff. So I spent the weekend gussying up this website and reading Where I Was From.
I like Weight Watchers. The scale says I lost two pounds, but I’m sure it’s mostly water or whatever. It doesn’t feel like a diet though. It is a pain in the butt because any calorie counting is a pain in the butt. But… it makes you control portions and make better choices. I’ve gotten wicked heartburn since I had kids. The doctor says I always will. I replaced a generous serving of ice cream with a pudding cup, breakfast pastries with fiber one bars. That kind of thing.
Tootsie-Wootsie did better at school last week. My new jealousy-driven discipline scheme is working.
We’re getting a caretaker to live in our house until it sells.
Lifetime’s Green River Killer movie is on right now. They did an excellent job creating a sort of composite character to humanize the victims. Why society needs to be convinced to see that all of our lives are equally precious in the eyes of God eludes me. Why we don’t grasp that, although accountability is key, so much of our lot is influenced by where, when and with who we begin. By the grace of God goes the woman, and those who love her, who doesn’t lose track of her soul bit by bit in a thousand different ways. Even a couple bad choices or luck for us lucky ones can shoot us off in a whole other trajectory. It’s our choice to crawl back, but those who haven’t made the trip should at least offer grace.
Tom Cavanaugh is adorbs too.