I’m someone who likes to read. I’m also someone who prefers to spend as little as possible, and so that makes me someone who likes to use the public library. One way I like to find new books is to walk the stacks and pull books that seem interesting. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a particular genre or searching out a particular title, though usually I’ll just find myself in the stacks and drawn to an author who’s name I recognize.
That’s how I came to have a copy of Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, while passing time in the Markville Secondary School staff room. Immediately, I was stuck by her simple sentences and strong visuals. Before long, I was filled with tears by reading the personal, heartfelt account of the tragic circumstances that befell her husband and son.
For me, Didion has become a voice of clarity and experience, and so I think it’s worth sharing a passage from Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.