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Anne Lamott

Sitting here on a gloomy wet Saturday morning with a man I know well at my breakfast table, reading the paper, both of us in pajamas and slippers. He and I were married for ten years and have two children and two grandchildren, and the fact that we’ve been divorced since 1990 does not matter one bit any more to our friendship and love.

One of life’s great victories. Truly.

Poor Anna has a big party this afternoon, at least 30 people including many small children, and it’s dark and very wet. But if anyone can cope, it’s my daughter, a born hostess. Ed and I are going to pick up the birthday cake and get over there early to see if we can help, but chances are, we will just watch her organize. That’s what she does.

Last night I went to see the wonderful writer Anne Lamott, author of the highly recommended “Bird by Bird,” giving the Henri Nouwen lecture. Because I worked, albeit briefly, at L’Arche, I know of Nouwen, a renowned Jesuit and intensely spiritual man who has written many books. So I guess I should not have been surprised that the evening was slanted quite so powerfully toward Christianity, God and Jesus. But it was slanted a bit too much for me.

Lamott was very funny and open and had some great lines. To writers, she said, “Trust me, there’s not a single person in your family who will be glad you’re writing a memoir.” True!
Her mother was English. “There’s a twelve step program,” she said, “for the children of the English.” Been there, done that, only for me it was called psychoanalysis.
“Get your books at an independent bookstore,” she said,”you’ll have a better seat in heaven.” Yes!
Presbyterians – “God’s frozen chosen.”

She talked about radical self love – that a successful life requires radical self love, service and quiet. I liked that. Meditate, she said. “Learn to bear the stillness.” “Trust and surrender.” But still, she talked of filling “the god-shaped hole within.” Presumably, her god-shaped hole is filled with God. I will just have to continue filling mine with dark chocolate, red wine and the love of family and friends. That seems to do me just fine.

Here are a few things for your edification: another grammar error, a misplaced modifier that’s a headline in the Guardian on-line today – shame on you, Guardian. I didn’t know Trump was an American muslim! What a turn around. Was he born in Kenya?

As an American Muslim, Donald Trump doesn’t scare me.”

Yesterday with Grampa, visiting the firehall with the drop-in kids. One of these boys is off-the-charts big, and the other is off-the-charts small. It’ll be great – Ben will have a big BIG brother to protect him at school. Always thinking ahead, is Glamma.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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