Thursday, November 04, 2010
The Year of Magical Thinking
Death has been on my mind this week. Not my own, although my work regularly causes me to ponder my own mortality. Last Sunday's All Saints recognition of those who had died during the previous year, a commital service earlier this week, some folk who are in a life-and-death struggle with health, even this Sunday's Remembrance acknowledgement remind me that life can be fleeting.
I heard yesterday that a play based on a remarkable book called The Year of Magical Thinking is coming to Toronto. The play is acclaimed, and the book is one of the best descriptions of grief that I have ever read. The author, Joan Didion, wrote it in the year after the sudden death of her husband. The "magical thinking" was her suspension of reality in the face of her loss. Despite knowing that he had died and all the practicalities of adjusting to his absence she waited for his return. The book is honestly and beautifully and achingly written.
Have you ever experienced that "magical thinking" in the face of death? Do you ever pause and ponder your own mortality? Have you read Joan Didion's account of her loss? Do you live with a resurrection promise and hope for eternity?