You know that one of my goals this summer is to get in a lot of reading. This one has been on my shelf since it came out in 2005. I loved Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott, another book of essays that share faith as a common theme. Below is my review from Good Reads and then some additional thoughts below on my favorite passages from the book– just for this blog.
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Anne Lamott’s non-fiction. She’s honest, even when it reveals her cranky or crazy or vulnerable side, which just goes to show that she’s not cranky or crazy, just vulnerable to a strength (as opposed to that saying, she’s whatever to a fault). She says the things some think and gives a sense of hope, even when things feel hopeless. I especially liked her frankness about teenage Sam, the war, and her mother, and perhaps my favorite piece was her commencement address. That said, lots of pages got notes (good writing advice, underlines, etc) and I look forward to going back and making note of those in my own reading journal.
Good writing advice:
from the essay, Sam’s dad: with writing, you start where you are, and you usually do it poorly. You just do it- you do it afraid. And something happens.
from the essay, holy of holies 101: I know that with writing, you start where you are, and you flail around for a while, and if you keep doing it, every day you get closer to something good.
from the essay, untitled: I have survived so much loss, as all o fus have by our forties… Rubble is the ground on which our deepest friendships are built. If you haven’t already, you will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and you never completely get over the loss of a deeply beloved person. But this is also good news. The person lives forever, in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you learn to dance with the banged-up heart. You dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old friendships.
from the essay, untitled: I became more successful in my forties, but that pales in comparison with the other gifts of my current decade- how kind to myself I have become, what a wonderful, tender wife I am to myself, what a loving companion… I run interference for myself when I am working, like the wife of a great artist would- “No, I’m sorry, she can’t come. She’s working hard these days, and needs a lot of down time.” I live by the truth that “No” is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act.