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Annie Lamott is a Cool Chick

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 15, 2010

I heard of Anne Lamott a few years ago, but only read her book Plan B recently. Today’s blog backing track is Leonard Cohen | Anthem (There is a crack… a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.) Why not listen while reading?

I think it’s important to say that Anne Lamott doesn’t write much about spirituality at all. You needn’t be afraid of picking up her books and being assailed by religious texts every page. I deliberately picked the quote below because that’s what this blog is about; faith and unfaith.

I like that she’s vehemently left wing, hates the Iraq war and George Bush (the book was published in 2006). I like that she writes disarmingly about her cellulite, her failings, her inabilities to forgive, her love of nature, her past drunkenness. I like that she has has a sense of humour, a boyfriend, dreadlocks, swears, has an illegitimate child she loves deeply. (I use the word illegitimate advisedly, how increasingly inappropriate it seems. How can a child ever not be legitimate?)

In one chapter she writes of Sue, a beautiful vibrant friend dying of cancer and the week’s holiday they took skiing in Utah so that Sue could have one last good Easter.

We celebrated Good Friday that night, a week late. It’s a sad day, of loss and cruelty, and all you have to go on is faith that the light shines in the darkness, and nothing, not death, not disease, not even the government, can overcome it. I hate that you can’t prove the beliefs of my faith… But noooooo. Darkness is our context, and Easter’s context: without it, you couldn’t see the light. Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.

The next morning we celebrated Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, when Jesus was dead and hidden in the tomb, and nothing made sense, and no-one knew that he was going to be alive again. Most of his disciples had left Golgotha on Good Friday even before he died; only a few women remained at the cross. The disciples skulked off like dogs to the upper room, to wait, depressed and drunk – or at least this is what I imagine. I certainly would have, and I would have been thinking, “We are so fucked.”

You can read more of Anne’s writing at Salon.com.


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Today’s Fun Unrelated Link Why? It’s Fun, and Unrelated to this post: Space Camel. Strange, banal and kinda good. Thanks Dannye.


7 Responses to “Annie Lamott is a Cool Chick”

  1. Anne L. is by far one of my favorite writers of all time (although I’ve never read her fiction). Her honesty is contagious, which is how it should be. I LOVE Traveling Mercies and I especially recommend Bird by Bird.

  2. […] Annie Lamott Is A Cool Chick […]

  3. meryl333 said

    Anne Lamonte is one cool chick. Indeed. When I went out to the Vedanta Retreat in Olema last month I met another “cool chick”, Carolyn North. Carolyn is a healer, a writer, a poet and more. She writes with the same insightful, raw emotional honesty that Anne does. She gave me her book “The Experience of a Lifetime… Living Fully Dying Consciously”. In it, she relates her experience with three or four friends that she was present with as they went through the period before leaving their bodies. Profoundly moving and spiritually insightful. Who doesn’t have intrigue, apprehension or outright fear about the inevitability of our own death or that of someone we love. A “must read” and ponder.

  4. e.cabello said

    You like that she hates people? Weird.

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