TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anne Lamott Made Me Laugh Today

I was working on inventory, listening to NPR. This American Life was on with an old story by David Sedaris that I had already heard. Still good, chuckle, chuckle, but not new. Sarah Vowell followed. I had heard that one, too. Must have heard the whole show a long time ago... Yep! It WAS originally aired in 1998! What a memory! Except that I didn't remember the third guest, Anne Lamott. In fact, I don't remember ever hearing about her, ever, ever, ever before! How could I not? As I worked away, I almost peed in my pants from snortling. Well, not really, but I loved what she was saying and how she was saying it and I wanted more, more, MORE!

Anne Lamott is a writer, so I'm sidestepping a bit on the fiber focus here, except that I think what she has to say is relevant to all artists, in fact, to anyone interested in life. Swimming her way out of alcoholism into a life of grace and faith, Lamott is my brand of Christian. It colors everything she addresses, but in a sarcastic, self-deprecating and humorous voice more often heard by progressive Jews. Not apologetic, she embraces the name of Jesus with as much foracity as any born-again Baptist. But, it's done in a way that makes me flutter with joy inside.

I googled her and of course, there are gobs of interviews out there and some videos. The story I heard on This American Life was a great introduction and you can hear it on their site. I also found her as a guest on the Colbert Report:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c

Finally, I listened and watched the following interview. It's an hour long and I didn't really want to spend that much time on it, so I figured I could watch a bit and turn it off. Nope. Got sucked in and enjoyed it to the last minute. She talks a lot about her work, how the creative process develops for her, and about the emotional and financial realities she experienced through different phases. This, I thought, is good fodder for all creative people (who, I assume, are the corps of my readers...). Give it a try! If you roll your eyes or get bored, you can turn it off:

Anne Lamott is now on my reading list. The grabber for me was her humor. Then she pushed the hook in with intrigue. She was obviously working hard to do the Jesus thing while having a really hard time looking right-wing Jerry Falwell types in the eye. Anti-Bushonomics Christians are not found in abundant supply around here. And, often, progressive Christians are so depressed about everything that they aren't much fun. Well, Anne Lamott made me laugh today and I thank her. Whatever your walk in life, I can guarantee that if you have a sense of humor, are interested in people, art and politics, then she will make you laugh a bit, too. Something I believe we all need these days!



  1. I love Anne Lamott too! She has the most quirky, no nonsense humor that just cracks me up! I LOVED 'Traveling Mercies' and liked 'Plan B'.. not as much as the first. I like these better than her fiction though because these two books are all Anne.

  2. I love Anne Lamott. Try reading Bird by Bird. Also, she has (or, at least I know she had) a column at salon.com. If you are new to her writing, you will love starting at the beginning and just reading your way through all her columns.

  3. yes... anne lamott is good! and how can you not love her in her little dreadlets?????

  4. I just looked up her book titles and none of them sound familiar, although her name sure is...I wonder if I'm just not recognizing the titles and have actually read her work...

  5. Thanks for sharing Anne Lamont. I was not familiar with her, but will be now. I stayed up far too late listening and am now hooked. Off to the bookstore!


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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