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Jan 6, 2012

Then Again

I just stared reading Diane Keaton's memoir and am in love.

I've always admired Diane Keaton, in spite of her Hollywood status. Her acting is certainly something to appreciate, but my admiration stems more from her quirky personality and fashion sense that has inspired my own; her intellectual, funny, self deprecating interviews; her independence; and her joy. She just seems like someone I'd want to know.

When her memoir came out, I quickly hopped on a long waiting list at the library (in an effort to curb my spending on books). But now that I've finally received it and am a couple chapters in, I'm returning it to the library and buying a copy for myself.

Rich thinks this is weird - that I want to own the books that I read.

But books are dear and personal things to me. Books change me, alter how I think of a subject forever, shift me into new understandings, teach me, open me up. Each of them is special and holds memories of the changes its pages created in me. Seeing the spine of a book I've read looking out at me from its place on the bookshelf or my nightstand makes me happy. I remember how the book felt in my hands as I read it. I remember the smell of the pages, what happened to make me stop and dog ear a corner here and there, maybe even a drip of coffee from when the kids demanded I put down the damn thing already. I remember the feelings I emoted while reading it, the thoughts it provoked or dreams it opened up.

I guess it does sound strange. Regardless, this is one of those books.

Because it's not so much a memoir of Diane Keaton's Hollywood life as it is an introduction of her mother. Her mother, who was a homemaker and a thinker and a dreamer and an artist and a writer. Her mother wrote in journals, many many journals, throughout her life. And upon her death from Alzheimer's, Diane decided to finally open those journals and take a look at the raw, thoughtful introspections of her beloved mother. She later decided to write this book, which is set up side by side - one entry from her mother's journals evolving into an entry from Diane on a similar subject. Such a brilliant idea.

It's about a daughter's love for her deserving mother, about memories and truths and fantasies we have about our parents, and about the realization that what our parents allow us to see growing up is but a fragment of what makes them who they are.

I cannot wait to really dive into it this weekend, but was so inspired by the first few pages that I had to get it out.

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