Merciful travels with Anne Lamott

Thought 2: Reading

Anne Lamott’s books never fail to impress and inspire. Years ago I was given a copy of her book Bird by Bird, and being in the midst of my addiction to more costly highs, didn’t pick it up again for many more years. Not until I finished writing my own book did I dust it off and begin to read. Now bird by bird I’m pecking away and have been on a Lamott book binge. In true addict-fashion I want more. I want to devour her words and at the same time I don’t want them to end. I just traveled along on the journey she shares in Traveling Mercies.  Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a book addict.

Book addiction is a lesser of many evils that I have, or could, indulge in though it shares many of the same characteristics. No longer are addictive substances wreaking havoc in my mind, body and soul, so buying books instead of food or gas or even paying bills seems perfectly logical.

Logic is not my strong suit, yet I am drawn to Lamott’s words as they are measured out in a meandering kind of way. My mind follows along in curvaceous fashion often taking off on its own. Somehow I end up on the path where I can once again pick up on the words that she drops Hansel and Gretel fashion for me to gather as I attempt to find my way out of the wilderness. Or could it be that I am leaving words to mark a path someone else can follow? Yet another idea, and maybe one more true to form, is that I leave a wordy trail so I do or don’t go along the same path that I’ve already wandered.

Casually as Lamott’s words may fall, they never fail to bring a guffaw that echoes through some void in my psyche, and I recognize the thought within the words and am reminded that those are my thoughts, but my mind had not shaped the words into a language that made sense and then the logic hits me upside the head. It’s as if the proverbial tree fell in the forest but this one fell on my head, and I heard it.

Lamott’s humor spurring me on, I laugh along the way as she drops snippets of wisdom that provide mercy as I stumble along.