Anne Lamott arrived in Tacoma for her evening talk at Urban Grace Church. Her truth-telling- no-matter-what stories and edgy wisdom gave the audience reason to sigh, ponder and affirm: we are in this life together.
I sat in the front row and listened like I would in a college class: eager attention, pencil in hand.
But when Anne started to talk, I stopped listening with just my brain and allowed my heart, too, to grab onto her words.
"I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness—and that can make me laugh. When I am reading a book like this, I feel rich and profoundly relieved to be in the presence of someone who will share the truth with me, and throw the lights on a little, and I try to write these kinds of books. Books, for me, are medicine."
She spoke of her childhood – in a family where her parents hated each other…she did say hated. Soon, she learned to strive for her own perfection…to be the people-pleaser and the problem solver…tough when you are five-years-old. She is a sober alcoholic, a recovering drug addict and tells the audience that the “light didn’t go out” inside her. Somehow, there was a dim slice of life within her that was nurtured by mothers and others, sent to her. She survived and started to listen to her own truth.
And then, she wrote and wrote and wrote the truth. We are grateful… for tonight she illuminated an auditorium, providing urban grace.
(S-R archives photo)