Photo: Viktor Forgacs
Photo: Viktor Forgacs
I just read Blue Nights, by Joan Didion. It’s about what she went through and how she felt, as her adult daughter was dying.
You get that I said it’s about her daughter dying, right? Her husband died one year before. Joan Didion is a recognized author, among other things. Her husband was also a famous author. Because of that, some of her friends are also famous. How could they not be?
Now here’s the thing…some of the one star reviews said she was “name dropping,” and “whiny.” They said things as if she was on an “ego trip” and get this…one person said the book was “depressing.”
I’m sorry, am I missing something? Did the reader think the book was going to be a comedy?
Having gone through what she went through, in reverse order, I can understand what she was saying.
Maybe the review writers never lost a child, or a husband. Maybe they have, but simply didn’t care. Whatever the reason, Didion hasn’t been well herself, for years. I just thought she deserved a break.
A lot of people don’t know what it’s like to spend months in a hospital room, every single day, waiting for something to happen. It’s horrific, absolutely exhausting, as well as terrifying.
Blue Nights is a book about loss. Not only of a child but of one’s own youth. She wrote about what it was like to lose your abilities and confidence. To be afraid of falling, of not being able to remember things. To know that you’ll never be able to wear red 4″ heels again. Meaning that you have to acknowledge that you’ll never be able to be yourself again. Not in the way you knew, or believed yourself to be. As I said, Didion hasn’t been healthy for a very long time. Still, she persists.
I went on Amazon, looking for those things you drop into big flowerpots so they only need to be filled half way with soil. They’re round, or square, and made of heavy plastic. I’m actually getting them at a store around here if they have them, but I wanted to check them out.
Anyway, there was a book on PROTEST ART, just waiting for me to look at. So, I HAD to look at it. I mean you can’t just ignore a book like that, right? I ended up buying it because the art work was great, and because those who gave it one star said they did it because it was left-wing and anti-trump. That’s so cool. The guys on the “other” side actually promoted a book they didn’t like. I love when stuff like that happens.
Enjoying it very much. Highlights all the fabulous women of the times, the rebels and the fabulous. Great photographs.
Every time I wonder why I’ve never lived anywhere but CHICAGO, I mean even the dinosaurs were confused, asking what the blond thing walking around was doing there– surviving the winters, and DARKNESS– I think…somewhere the sun is actually shining and it’s WARM.
So, today I was happy about the sun being out, and celebrating the hot 35 degree day, but I was also thinking about Holly telling me about the flowers BLOOMING where she lives. I looked outside at the dirty snow and mud. Hmmm…
Anyway, I was moving the dust around, pretending to clean (it’s hard to clean when one is always looking through books), and I picked up my favorite book on CHICAGO (see below).
I opened the book and immediately fell madly in love, just like I always do whenI see pictures of the city. Not only that, the quotes all stuck in my throat, one on top of another, because they were perfect and they were the reasons I was here and they were…me.
It is possible to become the place you live. When that happens, there is no difference between yourself and the city, or place. Maybe most of us do that. I think it’s true for those who love where they are.
Obama said, “Let me tell you something. I’m from Chicago. I don’t break.”
I read that and my heart fluttered, recognizing the truth of it.
Studs (Terkel) said, “Chicago is America’s dream, writ large and flamboyantly. It has-as they used to whisper of the town’s fast women-a reputation. ”
Mike Royko said, “One of the hallmarks of Chicago is that we do so many things in an original manner. What other city has made a river flow backwards? What other city makes traffic flow backwards?”
Nelson Algren (he loved the city), said, “Chicago is an October sort of city, even in spring.”
Seriously, who could ever argue with THAT?”
Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Eventually, I think that Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the modern world.”
Those are just a couple of quotes that made me see the mud in a new way. LOLOL Okay, I would live in Paris for awhile, that’s true. At least I think I would. Maybe I wouldn’t like it there, if I had all the time in the world, instead of two weeks at a time, but I really can’t imagine that.
Anyway, this, book is beautiful and for those of you who want to see what Chicago looks like, from different angles, in all weather, from different photographers…you really need to see this.
I was reading a book, this morning, about a woman who moved to Paris and was writing about chocolate and working for a famous designer. The desserts were a side gig. Anyway, it was kind of boring, but it was about Paris, and that’s why I was reading it. I picked the book up on sale, a long time ago.
I got to a part where she was walking through the streets and called the pigeons filthy vermin. WHAT? She didn’t want to rush them, so they would fly away, and have the FILTHY DUST FROM THEIR WINGS FALL ON HER.
End of book for me. She disparaged pigeons. She became a non entity. She said other bad things about the birds and all of them were hateful. The book will be ripped up and recycled.
How mean was that? I won’t read books by people who are that mean. I felt so bad for the pigeons, even though they don’t know or care. I do.
Vermin is just another ugly word made up by ugly humans. Ever wonder what the “vermin” call us? Besides killers and death on two legs, I mean? I suppose they are kinder than we are, which wouldn’t be hard.
So one garbage book in the garbage, where it belongs.
It’s all pictures/artwork and big bold writing. It’s absolutely FANTASTIC! SHOULD BE A TEXT BOOK IN ALL SCHOOLS.