The response and conversations and discussions generated by the blog about Anne Lamott keep pouring in here and on my FB and everywhere I turn so OK, people—let’s just make July The Anne Lamott Appreciation Month at Jitterbuggingforjesus.com!
And then we’ll contact her agent Steve Barclay and demand I get an interview with her for this blog sometime.
Jitterbugger is ALWAYS THINKING!
Send in your A.L. favorite quotes, books, whatever, in the comments here whenever there’s another post about her, or email them to me (email@example.com) or Facebook (preferably anything but my email actually, thank you very much, but if you must OK.
(WARNING–if you email me with over-the-top attacks that are personal or if you’re so gutless that you attack this blogger without putting your name in full view of everybody, hold on to your hat. All bets about my deep Christian sense of compassion and kindness may be off and remember that whatever the peace of Jesus, as Dorothy Sayers said, it was not a peace of amiable indifference. On the other hand, if you want to say something nice and flattering in an email, can I take you out for coffee? a meal maybe?)
I’ll start the appreciation off by saying that I admire her writing because she writes with such brutal honesty, truth, integrity and courage and that’s the only kind of writing I have much appreciation left for in a world where so few people–writers included–have anything to say.
That’s the mark of all great writing, art or any creative pursuit. Nothing sadder than a writer of any kind, an actor or actress or director or filmmaker or playwright or poet or artist or even musician who has, nothing to say.
Nothing original, nothing fresh, nothing creative, nothing that comes from out of the proverbial box.
The bookstores are full of books with authors, most of them bestsellers, who have nothing to say, really, that will challenge your values, make you think, make you look at the world from some wholly different angle.
The saddest are those who had a lot to say when they attained fortune and fame and haven’t had much left to say for whole decades but keep churning out books under pressure from New York to write more books to sell.
Granted, those writers can still be very good writers, but they do lose a lot of their punch, in most cases, and you can often tell when they just churned out another bestseller for the skins.
Even rock n roll is subject to the test of nothing-to-say.
Mick Jagger has nothing left to say and never really had anything to say except that he couldn’t get no satisfaction aw baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, which really wasn’t much to say and Jim Morrison outlit that fire anyway.
Dave Matthews — and we all know what a freak I am about him — has so much to say, so much to say, so much to say about romance and love and love gained and love lost and unrequite and hate and death and war and peace and God and social injustice and prayer all the things that great artists and poets and writers and yes, musicians and singers want to speak to you about from their hearts and souls and minds.
Paul Simon, a true artist of a musician, singer and songwriter who can make you laugh (“if you’ll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal, Al,”) make you cry (“sometimes even music is no substitute for tears,”) whatever he wants you to feel, he’ll make you feel it at some really interesting and deep level.
A world class poet like the late Pablo Neruba, who could write a whimsical ode to something as common as a kitchen table with skill equal to his ability to make you feel sick to your stomach at the poverty and violence and sickness he witnessed in the world–or write a love poem so heartfelt and passionate that you almost feel guilty for peeking with him at such a private and intimate look at the lover and the love he wrote about.
A filmmaker like Scorcese–how does he take themes like mob life and keep pumping fresh life into those characters that an old Navasota, Texas can’t really relate to on any level whatsoever unless it’s an artist as powerful as he is making you look once again at the old gang he grew up with and wanting to watch yet another mob story.
Who in American life ever had more to say about American life than Mark Twain, and in so many ways, from corny (the jumping frog story) to folksy (Adventures of Huck) to so incredibly serious (Adventures of Huck).
Tom Sawyer amused me as a child.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn made me look so hard and deep at the Southern culture that I was growing up in–the good, the bad and the ugly, as one who was white and privileged, that it–along with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” profoundly shaped the morality and philosophy and values and point of view that have sustained me for lo these many years, right into this ordained life of mine.
Anne Lamott is no Twain, no Neruda, no giant, but a truthteller and powerful truthteller at that, which makes her a mighty fine writer and favorite companion of mine.
And obviously, a favorite travel buddy of yours, a lot of you.
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