On April 14th I went with some friends to hear Anne Lamott speak. You need to understand that Anne Lamott is my hero is many ways. Okay, maybe hero is too strong a word, but I love her and think she is brilliant and the Lord speaks to me through her writing. She writes about how messy life is and makes it seem beautiful and purposeful. She reminds me that God is bigger than our messes and that He has enough grace to cover them all. I didn't know when I saw her that five days later my Grandma would pass away and many of the things she said about grief and mess would soon resonate more than ever.
Anne has a quote in her book "Traveling Mercies" that says
"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."
So, here are a few pearls of wisdom I wrote down during her talk:
Discussion is the most important thing.
“Each must enter the nest made by other imperfect birds.” – Rumi poem
See the divine in the ordinary – the sacred.
All we can do is invite people into our homes and lives.
“Sit there and cry, which is always the best place to start.”
If you’re a woman over the age of 12 and you’re not mad about the culture, then Anne is worried about you.
“Self consciousness is what kills you and the lack of it saves you.”
“Doing the grief and doing the anger are also what saves us.”
She calls her characters “people (she’s) worked with.”
Spoke about women’s equality and how this generation of young women still believe sexuality equals power.
Anne has to “practice not talking.”
Messy grace is the best kind – messy, hard-fought grace.
Family. Messes. Mistakes. Growing into the people we’re supposed to be – things she writes about.
The home of your own true self – Go back to where it is you really are.
Writing probably won’t make you famous, but it will give you everything you wanted.
If you can’t feel it, you can’t heal it.
Everything that’s happened to you is yours – yours to write about.
“If people don’t want you to write about them then they should’ve behaved better.”
What kids need is a journal and a pen.
No one cares if you write – a universal truth. – Just do it. Be one of the culture’s storytellers.
Sit down and just do it (write) and give yourself a short assignment.
An hour and a half will buy you 45 minutes of writing.
Hate is a great thing to write about because it is so enlivening.
Write what you’d like to come upon.
“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
“Write one whole draft and go through and try to take out the lies.”
Make kids and teenagers come up to the front of the class and read their stuff.
What you know about Lamott is only what she shares.
You only have to go as fast as your slowest part.
It’s stressful to have dual citizenship (between here on earth and Heaven).
(photo: Nichol, Anne, Teri, Marci, and me. We met her and signed our books and we made her laugh. It was awesome).