Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott (2012)

I dogeared so many pages of this library book that I just need to go out and buy my own copy.  There is some beautiful stuff here, and much needed.  I've heard of Anne Lamott (I think if you even have a glimmer of a literary bent, you've heard of Anne Lamott) but never actually read anything by her.  Her writing style if accessibly dense; there is a lot going on here, but her style is simple and approachable.  Here's a few of my favorite passages (the book is basically a continuum of favorite passages though):

I get thirsty people glasses of water, even if that thirsty person is just me.
(I know some people who need to understand this deeply and truly, and get themselves more glasses of water.)
Life unspools in cycles, some lovely, some painful, but in no predictable order.  So you could have lovely, painful and painful again, which I think we all agree is not at all fair... but if you've been around for a while, you know that much of the time, if you are patient and are paying attention, you will see that God will restore what the locusts have taken away.
(The locusts have been at work lately in my life.)
In the face of everything, we slowly come through.  We manage to make new constructs and baskets to hold what remains, and what has newly appeared.  
 (I love the use of the word "baskets" in conjunction with constructs; it's beautiful wordplay, like science and romantic imagery collide).

If we stay where we are, where we're stuck, where we're comfortable and safe, we die there.  We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins.   If you want to know what you already know, you're dying... when nothing new can get in, that's death.  When oxygen can't find a way in, you die.  But new is scary, and can be disappointing and confusing - we had this all figured out, and now we don't.
(Love this imagery too)
New is life.
That statement alone is a Help Thanks Wow Amen sort of statement, all of them rolled into one.

Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential PrayersHelp Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I borrowed this copy from the library, and ended up dog earing so many pages that I probably should go out and buy the book.  Accessibly dense; It's like Communion.  There are some beautiful passages here, and there is much going on here, but her style is simple and approachable.  I blogged some of my favorite passages here ( but essentially the entire book is a continuum of favorite passages.

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