With the recent passing of Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters (a tremendous and heartbreaking loss), Ryan Bingham posted this beautiful, haunting cover of “My Hero” that has been in my head since I heard it.
It has stayed with me as I had the opportunity – a dream really – to be on a Zoom call with Griffin Dunne, nephew of my forever writing hero who left us back in December, Joan Didion.
For some context, Griffin directed and participated in the phenomenal Netflix documentary about Joan that really is a whole new perspective on her, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Whether you love her or don’t know her work, watch this one. It is a great way to “meet” her – or to know her better.
That said, when a California magazine, Alta, offered this talk with Griffin, out of the blue to me (I’m still not sure how I got the invite), I was incredibly excited – and he shared so much more than I expected, especially about his life with Joan and her last years and her memorial. It was just beautiful.
Add to that Alta’s cover story link for this month is just an incredible coverage of her life:
Joan Didion: 1934–2021 (altaonline.com)
And I also “met” many other Joan-influenced writers, several of whom had done or were in the process of doing post-graduate work related to her writing and they shared some really interesting work as well.
Though it isn’t academic, a favorite share is actually this article of Joan’s favorite recipes – she was known for being a fabulous cook and host:
Joan Didion’s Favorite Recipes – The Marginalian
It was just so good and meaningful to me to get to remember someone who’s work has meant – and continues to mean – so much to me with her nephew and others who have been influenced by her.
So today I’m giving thanks for Joan’s life – and for unexpected blessings and small gifts, God things, that mean so much, that aren’t small at all.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and blessings.
Some of my previous Joan posts:
You’ll always be the queen, Joan. ❤