California's rough and ready spiritual seeker Anne Lamott grabs her many fans and followers where they live — in the midst of messy relationships, family crises, bad habits and a stubborn yearning for grace.
Her essay collections have become dog-eared Bibles for an army of readers looking for God, for solace, for wild humor and hope in our mystifying times.
Now she's out again with her trademark mix of Jesus, everyday epiphanies, hard-earned laughs and an edge of rage. A little less rage this time, she says. And a little more letting go, on war and anger and her teenage son. A little.
This hour On Point: Anne Lamott, on love and death and grace.
Quotes from the Show:
"I would say I'm a hard core left-wing activist." Anne Lamott
"If I'm grieving about something, I know that I am comforted and I am reminded who I really am and that I'm really not my butt or my cellulite, but, of course, having been brainwashed as an American girl since the age of about 4, it takes a long time to get over." Anne Lamott
"I don't proselytize and I never once have tried to convert anybody to anything, and I feel there're many, many paths to God and to what other people would call salvation but what I would call maybe feeling that you're welcome here, and you're semi-OK and that you're really, really loved and it's OK." Anne Lamott
"I don't believe God is a God of judgment. I certainly think the right-wing God says that if you're anything other than what they are, you're doomed, and I can't find that in the Bible. The right-wing Christian God is a God of extreme bigotry and elitism. ... Jesus as I understand Jesus welcomes everyone to the table." Anne Lamott
"Of course, I've always said that every single thing I've let go has claw marks on it, so it's not my strong suit. The book was originally called 'Forgivishness' because that's about as close as I can get, a state somewhat like forgiveness. I also know I can't get into a forgiving place because it's the hardest thing of all but that I can let go and I can receive something that makes it possible for me to breathe, sigh, let down a little bit and see the person's humanity and suffering instead of just how incredibly annoying they are." Anne Lamott
"Kids know how to suspend judgment briefly if you can entertain them." Anne Lamott
"Well, George W. Bush, our President, does not think, does not believe he became President by a 5 to 4 vote of a conservative Supreme Court. He believes he was chosen and anointed by God, and at one point, something like 45 percent of the American people believed that he was also chosen and anointed by God. ... Now the numbers say that only 29 percent of the people think he was chosen and anointed by God and that theocracy is a good idea. ... Now I look at him and I think 'tic tac, tic tac' and it's a lot easier to bear. " Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott, author of "Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith."
This program aired on March 23, 2007.