One writer whom I truly love is Anne Lamott, who had me at her instructional book on writing, Bird by Bird. Just to give you an idea of her whimsical wisdom, a wonderful quote: "This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be."
A brutally honest, and yet ceaselessly hilarious person, she had a rocky start on adult life, followed by a slow, reluctant transformation into an authentic believer in God and religion -- and one of the country's most engaging writers on spirituality.
I find all of her work moving, and her thoughts so full of truth I sometimes have to put the book down. I don't think I cry, but I do wonder that any one person could be so insightful, and so wise, and so self-deprecating at the same time. Nice combo.
Read any or all of her books -- you'll see what I mean.
Early on in her story, I think it is in Traveling Mercies, she talks about knowing just two prayers. One consists of please-please-please-please-please!!!! and the other of thankyou-thankyou-thankyou-thankyou-thankyou!!!!!
I've never told this story to anyone who didn't relate to Ms. Lamott's, shall we say, transactional form of worship. It's what we all do, really.
Want to hear what I've been praying about lately?
please-please-please-please-please . . .
. . . let my credit card be found by the one honest person at the gas station.
. . . let me not see the rat everyone has been talking about at the studio.
. . . let there be enough postage on that contract I signed.
And thankyou-thankyou-thankyou-thankyou-thankyou . . .
. . . for saving my search when my computer went down.
. . . for letting me get the last box of day old sweetbreads from the bakery.
. . . for the rain today. please-please-please-please-please send more.
Her Point of View
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