To fling myself into books, to be carried away to another world while being at my most grounded, on my butt or in my bed or favorite chair, is literally how I have survived being here at all. Someone else is doing the living for me, and all I have to do is let their stories, humor, knowledge, and images — some of which I’ll never forget — flow through me, even as I forget to turn off the car when I arrive at my destination. …Plopped in my chair, I get to be elsewhere, immersed in humanity, exclaiming in silence, “Yes, that’s just the way it is,” or “Thank God it’s not that way for me.” I get taken out of myself, and I get to salute all the people and experiences I recognize, with surprise and pleasure. “I so get that, but I never found the words. I know her. I am her.” This reactivates the giddiness muscle, and giddiness leaves you almost no choice but to share, and sharing is what makes us happy.Anne Lamott, from Almost Everything — Notes on Hope P. 64
And there is always nature, her royal self, who offers herself both as a light show and as bread to be eaten, We hang with her as much as possible, because nature really knows how to do it when she is not being mercurial and destroying entire regions. We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong, eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of the devastating fire, the sun rose red.
To pay close attention to and mostly accept your life, inside and out and around your body, is to be halfway home.
The lesson here is that there is no fix. There is however, forgiveness. To forgive yourself and others constantly is necessary. Not only is everyone screwed up, but everyone screws up.
How can we know all this, yet somehow experience joy? Because that’s how we’re designed — for awareness and curiosity. We are hardwired with curiosity inside us, because life knew that this would keep us going even in bad sailing. … Life feeds anyone who is open to taste its food, wonder, and glee — its immediacy. We see this toward the end of many people’s lives, when everything in their wasted bodies fights to stay alive, for a few more kisses or bites of ice cream, one more hour with you. Life is still flowing through them: life is them.Anne Lamott, from Almost Everything — Notes on Hope, P. 62