Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

“Can I show Dana the binder?” Annabelle asks Joan. She says yes, and Annabelle places a large black three-ring binder on my lap. It has tabs for each year, starting in 1979. Under each tab are dated typewritten lists of names. Many are familiar to me, from George Stevens to Gloria Steinem to Bret Easton Ellis. “J & J & Q” is often typed at the top (John, Joan, and Quintana). Annabelle says, “It is Joan’s record of the dinner parties they gave, who came and what the menu was.” That Didion typed and kept these lists I find both eccentric and moving, a fascinating meld of her precision as a writer and her vibrant social life. I turn the pages to the menus Joan prepared. (Planned but not fussy, for example: “Roast chicken with rosemary. Roasted garlic, scallions, carrots, celery. Goat cheese and Brie. Olives. Bibb lettuce vinaigrette. Chocolate and almonds.”) When I contact her later by email, I ask if there was any tension between work and entertaining, the serious writer and the person who loves to cook and throw big Easter parties. Her reply: “There was never tension. Easter parties are important to me.” - Via Vogue 

I'm guessing if there is anything in this world that will finally force me to figure out how to hook up our TV at this house, it's the release of long awaited Didion documentary. One I've been eagerly chasing since news of it broke early last year. *As I've mentioned before, she's a long time favorite of mine and the subject of a reoccurring dream of mine that I've had for years, in which she is my neighbor and I drop by casually to stalk her home, her words, her style, and wisdom. I haven't had it in awhile, so maybe seeing this will awaken it. Because it's been a really fun thing to live out. 

Like anyone who admires her greatly, over the years I've become just as enthralled with her personally as I am by her writing. This documentary (debuting October on Netflix) is such a treat that way because it delves into everything inside that. Offering an intimate peak into her home life (and home decor which I am utterly obsessed with) family memories, essay insights, thoughts on her work, and some pretty somber questions concerning life and loss. Also, how fabulous does she look here? 82 and stunning as ever.

I'll be set up with wine and cheese the night it lands. Cleo too. Because she's the only other female in this house and therefore ordered to adore absolutely everything I do. So long as we can get the damn TV working, that is.