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Posts Tagged ‘Anne Lamott’

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite writers. A friend from my Rumson book club gave me my first fix of Anne. Bob and I were preparing to move to the Blue Ridge, my youngest was heading off to college, my home on the tributary of the Shrewsbury River was filled with packed boxes. I was recovering from a severe bout of West Nile, putting steroid drops in my eyes every two hours. Hard change doesn’t come easily to me, and this move was proving to be extremely hard. Polli gave me the book “Traveling Mercies,” and inscribed:

I will miss you. I have loved having you here on Buena Vista as a neighbor and dear friend. Now the neighbor part changes, but never the dear friend! Enjoy Anne Lamott’s irreverent spirituality…

Anne is a recovering addict and alcoholic, she writes about it shamelessly. In fact, that’s one of the things I love about her, the shameless part. She’s also into Christianity, and I thought nah, I’m not going to enjoy this journey so much. Look how I fought to leave all those shaming, stern nuns behind; look how I married a Jewish man and raised my children Jewish. But finding grace is nothing to sneeze about, and Anne found it living on a houseboat and carrying on with a married man.

She woke up one morning and poured the wine and box of pills over the side of the boat, got into recovery and was baptized. Then she immediately got pregnant and her best friend discovered she had stage four breast cancer – she had to raise a child and help her friend prepare to die simultaneously. And i thought I had problems.

Here is Kelly Corrigan’s epic interview with Anne Lamott. https://medium.com/foreword/w-a-t-c-h-be1a0b70368e just for you.
I’m currently reading “Small Victories, Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.” Because I need her now more than ever. She tells us not to try and fix things that are unfixable, she tells us to swim. That we don’t have time to worry about showing our upper arms or our thighs. When Kelly asks her if she could say four words to anyone, she says, “You will come through.”

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Did you know that there’s actually a certain number of days after a tragic event when it becomes socially acceptable to make a joke about it? I know, I didn’t either, but statisticians study these things, what else have they got to do? It seems that Lincoln actually joked about the Civil War while it was still going on, which if you ask me is gauche. We’ve all heard of gallows humor, but that takes it to a new level. The number is 19; 19 days after the event. We all wondered how Jay Leno and Dave Letterman would be able to do their stand-up routine after 9/11. Good comedians find a way.

One of my favorite authors, a gal I sat across from at some country club luncheon soon after moving to VA while she was touring her book around, has started interviewing writers. Kelly Corrigan has begun a new series for Medium called “Foreword” with a guy who is also a stand-up comedian and wrote for the Office, the irrepressible BJ Novak! In fact, that’s how I found out about the discreet number of days it takes for us to laugh, and begin healing just when we thought the laughter died.

It’s not as if the interview doesn’t broach serious questions. Among them: How can an artist be funny about painful subjects? The mood, however, is refreshingly light and lively, and the drinking and profanity help keep it from getting too stuffy. Novak also shows his exquisite comic timing throughout. (He is, after all, a stand-up comedian who was a member of the Harvard Lampoon.) Rather than toss Novak a series of boilerplate questions, Corrigan asks, for instance, “If your mother wrote a book about you, what would it be called?” Novak’s reply: “His Ambition Makes Me Anxious, But I’m So Proud.”
http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Foreword-a-fresh-new-digital-series-for-6003601.php?cmpid=fb-desktop

Novak talks about the “…shock of recognition and catharsis” when he tries to explain why the dark side of humor can be so funny. We think of Seinfeld and Louis CK telling it like it is, saying the things we are all thinking but too afraid to say out loud. I can’t wait for Kelly’s next interview with two other exceptional writers – NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof and California author Anne Lamott.

Meanwhile today a cow charged my car on my way to Starbucks. It didn’t seem funny at the time, in fact I was on the phone with a 911 operator for 10 minutes because it was altogether likely somebody would plow into the cow; so I turned around and led the cow up our twisty-turny mountain road. “What does it look like?” “Brown with a white face.” “Does it have a tag in its ear?” “Ummmm, no?” The funny thing is, this is the second time I’ve found a lone cow on the loose!
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Switching from comedy to music, just in case you missed the Rocker’s turn on The Late Show with David Letterman, here it is! He hung out with Jeff Goldblum in the green room, and Letterman said “That was fantastic!” Nicole Atkins “War Torn” was anthemic; she did an outstanding job singing her heart out and the drummer, Chris, later thanked me for letting them practice in my garage all those years ago during high school. You’re welcome boys!! My epitaph will read, “Here lies a woman who let a metal band practice in her garage.”

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