I tend to think of Anne Lamott as a writer’s writer. Certainly, her book Bird by Bird was life-changing for me. She’s thoughtful, kind and (somehow) gut-wrenchingly honest, all at the same time.
Recently, she celebrated her sixty-first birthday with an epic Facebook post. Someone over at Salon saw it for the amazing thing that it is and promptly republished it in its entirety. I’m going to link to it below, but I want to say something about it, first–one part warning and one part challenge.
Lamott is a Christian. That’s the warning.
I don’t mean to imply anything good or bad about the Christian faith. She’s not a Bible beater. Not even someone who would scowl if you said ‘fuck’ around her. To my understanding, she’s considerably more open minded than that. However, she does say some things about God and Jesus in the stuff I’m going to be linking. If you don’t like that kind of talk, skip it, but please don’t skip the whole post. There’s some good non-God stuff in there, too.
Baby. Bathwater. Try to keep one even if you ditch the other. That’s the challenge.
Now that we’re done with the prelude, on to the good stuff. Per usual, I’ve included a snippet, but if you want to read it all you’ll have to click through. I know that means you’re less likely to comment here, and I hate that. If you’re feeling particularly charitable, consider coming back around this way and let me know what you think of her birthday post.
Anne Lamott shares all that she knows: “Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared”
Anne Lamott | Salon
I am going to be 61 years old in 48 hours. Wow. I thought I was only 47, but looking over the paperwork, I see that I was born in 1954. My inside self does not have an age, although can’t help mentioning as an aside that it might have been useful had I not followed the Skin Care rules of the 60s, i.e., to get as much sun as possible while slathered in baby oil. (My sober friend Paul O said, at 80, that he felt like a young man who had something wrong with him.) Anyway, I thought I might take the opportunity to write down every single thing I know, as of today.