Posts Tagged ‘writing’

A Book Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

October 8, 2008

I ordered this book because a few peoplehad either referenced it or quoted it in your blogs lately.  I didn’t read any reviews or excerpts other than the quotes in the blogs.  And I have not previously read anything by Anne Lamott though I have heard good things from various people about her writing.  I started reading this book on a rather pensive afternoon while I was still at work.  In my line of work this does not fall into my job description (couldn’t claim continuing education or anything nice like that) but I figured I had a broken toe and I was doing something worth while to be there to answer the phone if it rang.  So I read.  And I was immediately sucked in.  I have read many books in my life.  I have loved to read for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes it is to escape reality.  More often it is to come to grips with it.  I didn’t really have any expectations when I started reading Bird by Bird, but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

I can honestly say I have never read a book that I felt was speaking directly to me.  You know what I’m talking about.  Sort of like when you are sitting in church and the pastor says something and they happen to be looking directly at you when they say something very poignant?  I identified with this book like I have with no other book.  Sure there have been other books that have moved me and challenged my and encouraged me and enlightened me as I sought understanding of myself and understanding of God and understanding of the world in which we live.  But reading the introduction to this book made me feel one with the universe.

Intense?  Yes.  Slightly melodramatic?  Possibly.  But I really identified with what she wrote.  It’s amazing really.  I have written my whole life.  I kept a diary as a kid and wrote awful things that I didn’t want anyone to read but hoped they would.  I have written update letters to friends and family thinking they were short notes only to find out from a friend who printed one out that it was three pages long.  And I have always loved words.  My friend Heather exclaims in joy every once in a while when I take a word like crap and turn it into crapily (i.e., I slept crapily last night.)  I told her tonight, “Words are our playground!”  I told her that because I know she agrees.  We are of one mind in this.  All of this and yet I was so wrapped up in the procurement of perfection and so drunk with my addiction to approval that I never allowed myself to interact with the irreverent. 

But a life that’s perfect isn’t worth living becuase perfection is a lie.  Life is reverent in it’s irreverence.  Life is beautiful in it’s imperfection.

Reading Anne’s book has helped me see that I think I’m finally okay with that.  And so now I can write.  Now I can write because can finally stop telling lies and write what is true.

I’m up!

September 24, 2008

I’m up and the coffee is made.  I’m up and ready to dig into the word.  I am up before the sun but not before the Son.  I’m up! The sun rises over the weary land, the Son rises over the weary soul.

Gracious God in Heaven, thank you for waking me up this morning.  Thank you for giving me the breath of life for one more day.  As I spend time in your word please help me see you as you really are and myself as I really am.  Only then will I be able to see where you want to move me and how you want to change me.  Amen.

I find it interesting that the dated devotional I flipped open this morning talks about writing.  She says, “For I’ve begun to wonder how long my husband and I will remain childless in this house, our evenings filled with hours of silence in which to write.  Many authors would give anything for such peace and solitude…”

The passage for the day is Psalm 139.13-18:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you becauses I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15My frame was not hiddeb from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
   before one of them could be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to ount them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand,
When I awake
I am still with you.

(NIV)

This passage is neat for a few reasons.  First off, it seems that it is quite possible that God has been writing about my writing since I was formed in the womb (v.16).  This is super cool to think about!  Secondly, the last verse is quite fitting in light of my post yesterday and the fact that I actually got up early today. 

When I awake,
I am still with you.

God’s love for me is quite unbelieveable to me.  I think it probably is to most if not all people at least part of the time.  But I walk around quite a bit believeing the lies that I am unloveable, undesireable, and unwanted.  But God loves me passionately not in the physical sense of course but as one devoted to his beloved.  I am my beloved’s and he is mine….. ( S of S 6.3).

If only I could think on this when I am walking around during the day.  If only I could remember his love when I am going about the day’s work.  If only I could remember and never forget.

Photo by: E

I.think.I.can’t

August 6, 2008

I think I can’t, I think I can’t, I think I can’t…

I am not sure what is going on, but it’s happening again.  I am having to literally FORCE myself to do anything with this paper.  But even that is failing.  Where is the real pinkhammer and what have you done to her?  I still have tons of reading to do.  Haven’t started writing yet.  Don’t know what I am going to write about (no specifics…general topic only…no outline on paper or in my head).  I am running.out.of.time.