An Hour in the Presence of Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott was here. 

In MY town. 

At MY favorite bookseller. 
And I got to bask in her glory for 60ish minutes.

I will now check “Meet Anne Lamott” off of my bucket list.

Kneeling at the feet of the master.

I know. I got a little crazy when I learned she would be visiting Portland on her book tour for Small Victories. I mean she’s just a mere human, right? Why the fangirl, celebrity worship?

Every word Anne Lamott writes, every word I’ve heard her speak, seems to be exactly the word(s) I need to hear at that particular moment. For a woman who’s lived a completely different way of life than I have, I find this fascinating. Her essays take stories from the common to the extraordinary and poetically weave their lessons into my own personal experiences. Most recently, I followed her journey on social media as she supported her brother while his wife died of cancer. The thoughts she shared mirrored my own soul as I said my goodbyes to my dear aunt. 

When Anne Lamott arrived in Portland last week, she obviously used every effort to pull her voice from the congested virus attacking her. For someone who would have probably much rather been in bed with a cup of tea and an episode of Scandal, I am awed and grateful she still met with her readers. She was even so thoughtful to plop a squirt Purell on any had which touched hers. That’s class.

As you can imagine, I could gush all day about my holy role model. But if I could share with you the one thing I appreciate most about Anne Lamott, its her blatent admission of imperfection. 

The woman freely shares her rough past, one nowhere near similar to my own. Because of what she’s pushed through, she reminds us where the beauty of God lies in the everyday- through children, through pets, through death, through stupid politics. When I feel all hope is gone, she is there shining a small beacon. She isn’t finished with her struggles, but following her thought process is like having an understanding friend walking alongside my own battles.

If you have not yet read anything by this woman I admire, pick up Small Victories, Traveling Mercies, Help Thanks Wow, or Stitches to begin. Even though it’s a book for writers, Bird by Bird provides encouragement for anyone feeling overwhelmed with a goal. 

She’s a beautiful woman, this Anne Lamott. I have no need to meet movie stars or pop singers simply for the sake of saying I met them*, but to meet a woman who spreads so much wisdom and light in my life – well, for that I may behave a tad over the top.

*Disclosure: I do play the “name drop” game with a few people. But really, it’s only to play along with the geek culture of which I enjoy being a part. 

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