I was wrong yesterday: There are fifteen questions in the Joan Didion interview.
Here are the remaining eight questions in my Proust Questionnaire (WordPress insisted I begin with #1 again though):
- What talent would you most like to have? I would love to have a beautiful singing voice. I enjoy singing, can carry a tune, but my voice is meh.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be? I wish I were an early riser versus being such a night owl. I’ve done everything I can to change, but apparently my body is hard-wired to stay up late versus waking up early. (Note: I loved Joan Didion’s answer to this question, that if you change one thing you’re just going to end up wanting to change a whole lot more. In other words, be happy with who you are.)
- What is your most treasured possession? I have two: my wedding band, made of sterling silver, and the jade bangle that Brett bought me in Beijing when we traveled to China to adopt YaYu. The only times I’ve taken them off is when I’ve had surgery.
- What do you regard as your lowest depth of misery? The thought of any of my children or grandchildren dying before me.
- Where would you like to live? I am lucky that I am living exactly where I want to live. I still would like to spend part of the year in Japan so I could see my son and his family more.
- What is your favorite occupation? There is nothing better than being so engrossed in a book that you can’t put it down. (Note: Occupation in this question means something that occupies your time versus a job.)
- What is your most marked characteristic? I am a very organized, pragmatic person that doesn’t get upset or flustered easily. According to my family I might be too organized at times. They say they can always tell when I am upset about something because I start organizing and arranging things that are already organized and arranged.
- Who is your favorite hero/heroine of fiction? Sethe, the protagonist of Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. Sethe experiences unspeakable terror and trauma, almost going mad in the process, and yet finds the strength within her to go forward with life and be redeemed.
As I wrote yesterday, answering these questions was an enjoyable exercise, but not as easy as I initially thought it would be. I’m grateful though for the chance they offered to reflect on a few things. I encourage you to try them out and see where they lead you!
The most difficult question for me, by the way, was “what is your favorite journey?” I had to sort through many travel experiences to finally come to the one I consistently enjoyed the most. Although we don’t attend the campout anymore, I realized when I thought about it that I would still feel the same way about making that car trip now, and in the future, as I did in the past. It wasn’t just the journey, it was the reason we were going and the people we would spend the week with when we got there that made it so special.