Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; ...more
We are both single moms. We both share recovery from addiction. We both have memorable hair, hers in dreadlocks, mine sticking straight up from ...more
Ex: "One reason I think we get so angry with our children is that we can. Who else is there that you can talk to like this? Can you imagine saying to your partner, "You ...more
I read the book with excitement, and Anne Lamott(as well as Ms. Cleage) are favorite authors to this day.
"Plan B" was published in 2005, just a short time after the 2004 election.
Let me give you the first few lines of "Plan B". ...more
The stories were held loosely together by the "faith" thread - but Ms. Lamott didn't engage thoughtfully or analytically with the topic of faith. It just happens that she's a member of a church and the community of her ...more
She's so good, she made me consider going to church sometime. That's no small thing. I am a non-religious but open-minded person who gets very bored during sermons. Bored, or alienated.
The last time I tried out a Christian church -- the first time since high school -- the guest speaker spent 45 minutes telling us we were God's chosen ones, ...more
With that said, I plan to read more of her works because I think she has the wonderful ...more
"What are you supposed to do, when what is happening can't be? When it's all too scary and weirdly fascinating and grim, and the old rules no longer apply? I remember this feeling when my mother was in the last stages of Alzheimer's, when my brothers and I needed so much more to go on than we had -- explanations, plans, a tour guide, and hope that it really wasn't going to be all that bad. But then ...more
Of course there remains the beautiful nuggets of truth scattered throughout. And it wouldn't be a Lamott book without a very good helping of irreverence; which, surprisingly, can be freeing and comforting.
However, though this book reminded me what I first experienced in Traveling Mercies -- that it's OK to not be OK -- something here felt unfinished, or maybe even forced. Where Travling Mercies said, "Here I am, as ...more
"We figured out that ppl who make farting noises and weapons out of doritos should not determine what we do and don't do in class. There's a lovely hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his ppl that if they studied for the torah they would put scripture on their hearts. One of them ...more
Lamott has a mostly new-Age perspective (along the "divine spark is within you" and "God is nature" variety) so not much insight there. She is often downright mean about others, especially her mother and the people on the cruise.
It's just a depressing collection of baggage. A sentiment that is repeated throughout: "These are such ...more
Plan B is ...more
"I could feel something tugging on my inside sleeve, which is the only place I ever hear from God: on the shirtsleeve of my heart" (60).
"Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini of Milan wrote the 'full of grace' is the passive: grace is something Mary has received, and the phrase is in the distant past tense, so it really means something like, 'You have been loved for a very long time'" (63).
"Laughter is carbonated holiness" ...more
The Church of 80% Sincerity (109-110)
-80% sincerity is about as good as it's going to get. So is 80% compassion. 80% celibacy. So 20% of the time, you just get to be yourself.
-This is contrary to everything society leads us to believe - that it's 100% or nothing
-In the Church of 80% Sincerity, everyone has come to understand that unconditional love is a reality, but with a shelf life of about 8 to 10 seconds. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel it ...more
Traveling Mercies chronicled Lamott's slow journey toward faith. Now in her 50s, Lamott still insists upon sugarcoating nothing in this enlightening update. She combines brilliant sparks of wit, self-deprecating humor, wisdom, and appreciation in these 24 essays, previously published in Salon (see http://dir.salon.com/topics/anne_lamott/ for an excerpt from Plan B). If some have a moralistic bent, they rarely proselytize; instead, they inquire into Lamott's own, and sometimes naughty, truths....more