The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
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Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

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Fer Silva
Fer Silvacompartió una citahace 2 años
I needed to be alone so that he could come back.
Llia
Lliacompartió una citahace 5 años
Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.
You see how early the question of self-pity entered the picture.
Leoncio Vázquez
Leoncio Vázquez compartió una citahace 19 días
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
I know why we try to keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us.
I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead.
Let them become the photograph on the table.
Let them become the name on the trust accounts.
Let go of them in the water.
Knowing this does not make it any easier to let go of him in the water.
In fact the apprehension that our life together will de-creasingly be the center of my every day seemed today on Lexington Avenue so distinct a betrayal that I lost all sense of oncoming traffic.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
I did not want to finish the year because I know that as the days pass, as January becomes February and February becomes summer, certain things will happen. My image of John at the instant of his death will become less immediate, less raw. It will become something that happened in another year. My sense of John himself, John alive, will become more remote, even “mudgy,” softened, transmuted into whatever best serves my life without him. In fact this is already beginning to happen. All year I have been keeping time by last year’s calendar: what were we doing on this day last year, where did we have dinner, is it the day a year ago we flew to Honolulu after Quintana’s wedding, is it the day a year ago we flew back from Paris, is it the day. I realized today for the first time that my memory of this day a year ago is a memory that does not involve John. This day a year ago was December 31, 2003. John did not see this day a year ago. John was dead.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
The craziness is receding but no clarity is taking its place.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
Would I ever be right again? Could I ever again trust myself not to be wrong?
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
It occurs to me that we allow ourselves to imagine only such messages as we need to survive.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
I notice that I have lost the skills for ordinary social encounters, however undeveloped those skills may have been, that I had a year ago.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
take the opportunity for such professions where and when I can invent them, since I do not yet actually feel this faith in the future.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
As I recall this I realize how open we are to the persistent message that we can avert death.
And to its punitive correlative, the message that if death catches us we have only ourselves to blame
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
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
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
we were equally incapable of imagining the reality of life without the other
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
We imagined we knew everything the other thought, even when we did not necessarily want to know it, but in fact, I have come to see, we knew not the smallest fraction of what there was to know.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
Yet on each occasion these pleas for his presence served only to reinforce my awareness of the final silence that separated us.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
I am dropping my keys on the table inside the door before I fully remember. There is no one to hear this news, nowhere to go with the unmade plan, the uncompleted thought. There is no one to agree, disagree, talk back. “I think I am beginning to understand why grief feels like suspense,” C. S. Lewis wrote after the death of his wife. “It comes from the frustration of so many impulses that had become habitual. Thought after thought, feeling after feeling, action after action, had H. for their object. Now their target is gone. I keep on through habit fitting an arrow to the string, then I remember and have to lay the bow down. So many roads lead thought to H. I set out on one of them. But now there’s an impassable fron-tierpost across it. So many roads once; now so many cul de sacs.”
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
urgent need, to feel sorry for themselves. Husbands walk out, wives walk out, divorces happen, but these husbands and wives leave behind them webs of intact associations, however acrimonious. Only the survivors of a death are truly left alone. The connections that made up their life—both the deep connections and the apparently (until they are broken) insignificant connections—have all vanished.
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
The very language we use when we think about self-pity betrays the deep abhorrence in which we hold it: self-pity is feeling sorry for yourself, self-pity is thumb-sucking, self-pity is boo hoo poor me, self-pity is the condition in which those feeling sorry for themselves indulge, or even wallow. Self-pity remains both the most common and the most universally reviled of our character defects, its pestilential destructiveness accepted as given. “Our worst enemy,” Helen Keller called it. I never saw a wild thing / sorry for itself, D. H. Lawrence wrote, in a much-quoted four-line homily that turns out on examination to be free of any but tendentious meaning. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough / without ever having felt sorry for itself.
This may be what Lawrence (or we) would prefer to believe about wild things, but consider those dolphins who refuse to eat after the death of a mate. Consider those geese who search for the lost mate until they themselves become disoriented and die. In fact the grieving have urgent reasons, even an
dannynicolini
dannynicolinicompartió una citael mes pasado
People in grief think a great deal about self-pity. We worry it, dread it, scourge our thinking for signs of it. We fear that our actions will reveal the condition tellingly described as “dwelling on it.” We understand the aversion most of us have to “dwelling on it.” Visible mourning reminds us of death, which is construed as unnatural, a failure to manage the situation. “A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty,”
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