I have been reading Blue Nights this week, and as a result, have been walking around trying to make sense of the massive heap of emotion that is this book.
On the one hand, Didion writes about the loss of her daughter, her only child, Quintana; on the other hand, she reflects on her shortcomings as a parent.
The ideal thing would be that the child is happy and satisfied with what life eventually brings. I certainly can’t say that Quintana was ever satisfied with what life was bringing her, or that she was particularly happy. In fact, she was dramatically unhappy much of the time. I often think I didn’t give her credit for that. What I mean is that I didn’t take it seriously enough, because I just thought that was the way children were. (source)
I read The Year of Magical Thinking a few years ago as well. The insights an older writer brings to memoir carries much more weight for me and generally I hang on every word.
In fact, I have been reading tons of words this week in an effort to make up for my vacation time in which I spent much more time chatting than reflecting.
Speaking of children, I read a great article in the Los Angeles Times this week detailing a study whose findings suggest that children “who are exposed to violence experience wear and tear to their DNA that is similar to that seen in aging.”
“In a long-term study of 118 pairs of identical twins, researchers at Duke University found that boys and girls who had experienced violence had shorter genetic structures called telomeres than youngsters who had more peaceful upbringings.
“The children in the former group had been physically abused by an adult or bullied frequently, or had witnessed domestic violence between the ages of 5 and 10.
“…these children had lost perhaps seven to 10 years of life compared with children who had more tranquil lives.”(source)
Of course this news is not shocking, but it suggests that happiness and good health are often related and gives us more fuel for the refrain, “use your words.”
And on to a photographer who didn’t need any words:
(If you have trouble with this version, you can also watch it here.)
When we flew over our imperfect city late at night last week after 10 days away, I saw L.A. in a different light. This city is home to so many from other from other places; those seeking a place to belong, those seeking a fresh start, those chasing cinematic dreams.
Speaking of city life, my favorite tweet of the week:
And now moving from the West coast to the East, to Brooklyn, my favorite song this week:
“Rocky’s Theme,” from A Rebel’s Roar. I won’t embed the video here because it is not necessarily appropriate for all audiences. But the song? Love. Especially for running.
And while we’re on the subject of running, a few good articles from the week for you to mull over:
And now I’m off for my long run…I have added a new post to the My Training Page and I will try to keep it updated for the run nerds of the world who really care about glycogen stores, strength training and that sort of thing.