This past Saturday I attended the Canadian premiere of Joan Didion’s play The Year of Magical Thinking, based on her book by the same name. Both her book and play are extraordinary. The Chicago Sun-Times has said:
Unforgettable…Both personal and universal. She has given the reader an eloquent starting point in which to navigate through the wilderness of grief.
Didion’s work is a stark reminder of the frailty of life. In a heartbeat we can be alone and bereft. And as she points out, this will happen to us all. I believe that personal historians are involved in important and soulful work. We make it possible to preserve the memories of those who will inevitably die. We create legacies that can be a part of the healing process for those left behind. Didion’s opening words to her book are achingly observant:
Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
If you haven’t read The Year of Magical Thinking, I urge you to do so. If you have an opportunity to see the play, don’t miss it. If you haven’t yet started on your life story, begin today.
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