Monday, January 21, 2008

Anne Lamott - Traveling Mercies

I recently finished reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies. Lamott has been writing for a while and has written several books. I guess my soul was finally ready to discover her. I eagerly read her truthful words. They stung at times, but I needed to hear her words and gratefully let them wash over me. I am including some of my favorite parts in this post. I will refer to these truths for the rest of my life. My hope is to develop them into further posts dealing with my healing and grieving process. For now I am dipping my toe in the water and hoping the bravery Lamott shows in her writing will reveal itself in me and encourage me to write my own truths.

All those years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I’ve discovered since in that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it.

She had a great deal of religious faith, and everyone assumed that she would adjust and find meaning in her loss – meaning and then acceptance and then joy – and we all wanted this because, let’s face it, it’s so inspiring and such a relief when people find a way to bear the unbearable, when you can organize things in such a way that a tiny miracle appears to have taken place and that love has once again turned out to be bigger than fear and death and blindness.

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. It can be received gladly or grudgingly, in big gulps or in tiny tastes, like a deer at the salt. I gobbled it, licked it, held it down between my little hooves.