Today we skip through some favorite highlights from Anne Lamott’s book, so you too can relish her range, from impish to profound:
I was terribly erratic: feeling so holy and serene some moments that I was sure I was going to end up dating the Dalai Lama. Then the grief and craziness would hit again, and I would be in Broken Mind, back in the howl.
. . . . .
I kept starting to cry and then falling asleep. Sometimes grief looks like narcolepsy.
. . . . .
Most of the people I know who have what I want — which is to say, purpose, heart, balance, gratitude, joy — are people with a deep sense of spirituality. They are people in community, who pray, or practice their faith; they are Buddhists, Jews, Christians — people banding together to work on themselves and for human rights. They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of their own candle; they are part of something beautiful.
. . . .
But all of a sudden, at the stop sign of a busy intersection, there was a sound from the front of the car. It was a bad sound, a slippery crashing, as if the car had prolapse, as if all of its internal organs were trying to fall out of its vagina.
. . . . .
We said prayers softly, although Bee is not particularly religious, and we lit candles, and held Mimi lightly so she could take off when she was ready. The space between each new breath became longer and longer, until an hour later there was all space, and she died.
Now. Maybe you think it is arrogant or self-centered or ridiculous for me to believe that God bothered to wiggle a cheap bolt out of my new used car because he or she needed to keep me away for a few days until just the moment when my old friend most needed me to help her mother move into whatever comes next.
Maybe nothing conscious helped to stall me so that I would be there when I could be most useful. Or maybe it did. I’ll never know for sure.
And anyway, it doesn’t really matter. It was just such a blessing to have been there helping Bee bathe her mother’s body with beautiful soaps, smooth her skin with lotion, working as thoroughly and gently as Mimi must have done forty-three years ago, when Bee had just been born.
Confiscated from Traveling Mercies: Some thoughts on faith by Anne Lamott.