The beauty of this book hurts me a bit. I am happy and sad at the same time. I think I have told you that I tell stories on Sunday mornings. In some of those stories I tell about the complexity of how happiness mixes with sadness to make joy. Like a potion. When I first encountered this concept I didn't really get it or believe it to be true. But now I see. Especially when I read books like this. There is so much emotion in the poem and in the sketches. It is alive. Yes, there is nothing more alive than poetry. I think about how much work it took to make this piece of art and my hand starts to cramp. It must have been painful. Like most things. As I grow older I am struck by how much effort and work it takes to accomplish tasks with excellence. To cook, to clean, to write, to parent, to live. Everything takes more time than I ever thought it would. It is hard to realize this in our American culture. When everything is faster, faster, more, more.
I have reread Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott this past week and it has changed me. I tried to read it about 15 years ago, but I wasn't ready for it. My mind was too small then. Anne Lamott voices universal truths that no one cares to admit. And now her words will help me live through this week and then tell the story. I hope.