I just finished Delia Ephron's book of personal essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog. A quote that stood out to me:
"All I want is for someone not to change something I love. All I want is for someone to keep it simple."
talking about the relentless march of technological upgrades, about
which I agree--I don't see the point of arbitrarily moving buttons from
the left side of the screen to the right, or vice versa. Or adding
dozens of new features that I didn't want and never use. Or hiding the
menu so you can't find what you need. But those sentences, pulled from
their context, also can stand on their own in a more general sense.
We've all lost what we loved, or seen it change for the worse, at some
point in our lives. We've all had a perfect thing or place or situation
that deteriorated, or closed down, or moved away. It was going along so
well ... and then it wasn't anymore.
But then--if I want to go down that rabbit hole, I can also reread Joan Didion's Blue Nights, an entire book that meditates on loss, and change, and how swiftly it all occurs.
I'm also reading Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby.
It's coincidental that I've been reading this at the same time as
Ephron's book, but both books deal with losing mothers to chronic,
personality-changing illnesses--Alzheimer's in one case, alcoholism in
the other. In both books, the mother-daughter relationships were
complicated and not warm-and-fuzzy even before the onset of illness.
like finding multiple books that deal with the same subject. It enables
me to consider it from even more angles. It's as if the authors are
bouncing ideas off each other through me.