Recuerdo haber visto el libro cuando salió, haber leído la contraportada, haber sentido a la vez curiosidad y cierta aprensión por lo que en él contaba la autora, Joan Didion.
Por algún motivo, ayer me bajé el podcast de una entrevista con ella en Radio Open Source, que acabo de descubrir.
Y esta mañana, cuando me ha dado el flux y he decidido que hoy, domingo gris, frío y lluvioso, era el día apropiado para volver a salir a correr, lo he escuchado.
Y me ha impresionado mucho su inteligencia, su capacidad para expresar lo que sintió y pensó cuando su marido, escritor como ella, murió de un ataque al corazón cuando se sentaban a cenar en su casa, unos días después de que su hija entrase en coma séptico del que saldría varias veces, sin recuperarse plenamente, para acabar también muriendo año y medio después.
Además de la entrevista, Didion lee varios pasajes del libro. El podcast termina con su lectura del final del libro (que yo transcribo, perdón por los posibles errores).
I realize as I write this that I do not want to finish this account. Nor did I want to finish the year. The crazyness is receding but no clarity is taking its place. I look for resolution and find none. 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 (?), soft and transmuted into whatever best serves my life without him. In fact this is already beginning to happen.
All year I've been keeping time by last year's calendar. What were doing on this day last year, where did we have dinner, is it the day a year ago we flew to Honoloulou after Quintana's wedding, is it the day a year ago we flew back from Paris, is it the day... I realize today for the first time that my memory of this day a year ago is a memory that does not include John. This day a year ago was December 31 2003. John did not see this day a year ago, John was dead.
I was crossing Lexington Avenue when this occurred to me. 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.
Joan Didion, The year of magical thinking