Saturday, November 19, 2022

Quote of the Week: Expectations

It will perhaps suggest the mood of those years if I tell you that during them I could not visit my mother-in-law without averting my eyes from a framed verse, a "house blessing" which hung in a hallway of her house in West Hartford, Connecticut.

God bless the corners of this house,

And be the lintel blest--

And bless the hearth and bless the board

And bless each place of rest--

And bless the crystal windowpane that lets the starlight in

And bless each door that opens wide, to stranger as to kin.

This verse had on me the effect of a physical chill, so insistently did it seem the kind of "ironic" detail the reporters would seize upon, the morning the bodies were found.

 - Joan Didion, "The White Album," in We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, p.190

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