I ended my last post with this Rumi quote, which I copied from Anne Lamott’s book Traveling Mercies:
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Besides writing letters, copying down quotes in my Blank Book is another way that I kneel and kiss the ground. God made me to love words, and wanting to share what we love is quintessentially human.
When I find a line of Anne Lamott’s that I love, I want to be the words. I want to take a bath in them and eat and drink them. I want my mind to be so saturated in the beauty of what they are and what they mean that they transform me and all those around me. I feel both enlightened and struck dumb at the brilliance of Annie’s words, and watching her kneel and kiss the ground makes me want to do the same.
In case you’re not familiar with the work of Anne Lamott, let me give you a taste in the form of a couple letters I wrote to my sister, Holly, during the Letter Project. Holly had asked if I would share a few of my favorite Anne Lamott quotes so she could give them to her friend Lauren.
In this first letter, you’ll also get a taste of a recipe I had just discovered and was enjoying very much. I overdid it, as I tend to do when I find things I like, so now I hardly ever make it. But the recipe will be new to you, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did at first.
Day 199: September 23, 2015
Dear Holly, I like that we send each other cards from Trader Joe’s. I feel like T.J.s cards are a “thing” now - just cool and cheap. I am excited because T.J.s is holding some of their GF pumpkin pancake mix for me, and I am going to pick it up tonight. Also we just tried for the first time the Pumpkin O’s cereal. Even though they aren’t really healthy due to sugar, they are so good and sort of remind me of Apple Jacks. A fun seasonal treat, if nothing else.
Did I tell you about the chia seed pudding I have been making lately? It’s my new favorite breakfast. I got if from the Wellness Mama’s blog, so if you want exact details, search for it there. The variation I’ve been making is the blended chocolate pudding. It’s a can of coconut milk, 1/2 c chia seeds, 1/4 c maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao, which is what I’ve been using. You blend it for 1-2 minutes in the Vitamix, then put it in little 4-ounce jars and put them in the fridge overnight. Blending so long in the Vitamix heats it up, and the pudding is definitely better cold. I love having it, usually 2 jars, for breakfast with the “bulletproof” coffee that I emailed you about recently. Bauer really likes it and Cash kind of likes it. It’s another good snack option when I make it.
I liked hearing about the different things you’re doing with your church, and about Hazel’s new babysitter on Tues/Thurs, and about your glass/Instagram. I started this letter today because I wanted to copy some Annie quotes for you to share with Lauren. I know I’ll run out of room before I’m done, so I’ll write more in another letter soon. But without further ado, here are some of my very favorites:
“That we and those we love have lightened up over the years is one of the most astonishing sights we will ever witness.”
“The only control you have is to plan your intention."
“It is a violation of trust to use your kids as caulking for the cracks in you. So I said to God, Fine, have it your way. Whatev. It’s a new prayer, to add to the other two, Help me, and Thank You: Whatev. I should get this tattooed on my shoulder, “Help me, thank you, what ev, and lower the bar."
“Our time together was awkward. But we did okay, and that is a lot."
“It turns out that welcome is solidarity. We’re glad you’re here, and we’re with you. This whole project called you being alive, you finding joy? Well, we’re in on that.”
“It has taken years for me to get this well, which is to say, half as reactive and a third less obsessed with my own neurotic disappointing self. I don’t agree with the pace of how slowly we evolve toward patience, wisdom, forgiveness.”
“I wrote one [prayer] that will do in a pinch: Hi God. I am just a mess. It is all hopeless. What else is new? I would be sick of me, if I were You, but miraculously You are not. I know I have no control over other people’s lives, and I hate this. Yet I believe that if I accept this and surrender, You will meet me wherever I am. Wow. Can this be true? If so, how is this afternoon - say, two-ish? Thank You in advance for Your company and blessings. You have never once let me down. Amen.”
I love her and I love you! Ginger
I didn’t include in Holly’s letter which of Annie’s books these quotes were from, but for the sake of the blog and perhaps your interest, here are the attributions in order for the seven quotes above:
(#1) Help Thanks Wow (#2, 3, 4) Some Assembly Required (#5, 6) Small Victories (#7) Help Thanks Wow
I’ll continue with my second letter to Holly in my next post. Until then...
To Wonder and Ponder: Think about what words you have come across in life that move you the way that Annie’s words move me. Would you care to share a favorite quote in the comment section or send it in a letter to the editor?