Nora's Reviews > Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Aug 15, 2009
I like Joan Didion... and now I want to leave Oregon and move to California, though wonder if my staunch New Englandness can truly make such a move with comfort or a modicum of ease or will I simply feel like a foreigner, like a spy sent from a far to see how the other side lives and to debunk the mythology I created growing up back east of California? I am a New Englander, truly; in many ways the puritanical pragmatism is ingrained in my bones and is the tendency I fall back upon despite valiant efforts and eating copious amounts of psychadelic mushrooms in the early 00's. When I am in Portland, distance and nostalgia cloud my rarely accurate memory with a veil of foggy romanticism. I think of Amherst and Northampton and Cambridge, the oldness, the architecture and history. When I am in Massachusetts, I feel withdrawn, interior, a touch stifled and, frankly, a tad depressed and I think warmly of Portland: the rain, my bike, and cozy dwellings. I left this book moved by many of Didion's essays, wondering how I missed this book, when in high school I devoured The White Album and Play It As It Lays with such rapidity that I lack any idea of what those books were actually about, but in typical Didion fashion, I recall with clarity and immediacy who I was. Where I was emotionally and spiritually stays with me: a plane on the way to Atlanta, terrified because in a few months I was leaving home to go to college and felt rudderless, without much tethering me to anything, adrift. I remember my window seat, drinking lukewarm lousy black tea as I watched the clouds and the glimpses of land below, a creeping sense of awareness that my crisis of identity was banal and even the scene itself, on a plane, book in hand, tears welling in eyes struck a chord, a cheap string on a shitty plastic guitar. And now I wonder, where do I belong geographically... where is my home, in the sense of place as home?
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Slouching Towards Bethlehem.Sign In »
August 15, 2009 – Shelved
August 22, 2009 – Finished Reading