Notes on HopeLarge Print - 2018
"I am stockpiling antibiotics for the apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the headlines, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest--when everything makes us feel, as Lamott puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and overly caffeinated" --the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change." That is the time when we must pledge, she says, "not to give up, but to do what Wendell Barry wrote: 'Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'" Lamott calls for all of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried in us that will make tomorrow better than today. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths as she sees them-- "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you" --Lamott pinpoints these moments of insight and shines an encouraging light forward. Candid and funny, insightful and caring, Almost Everything is the book of hope we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.
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I tell the six-year-olds that if they want to have great lives, they need to read a lot or listen to the written word. If they rely only on their own thinking, they will not notice the power that is all around them, the force-be-with-you kind of power. Reading and writing help us take the blinders off so we can look around and say "Wow," so we can look at life and our lives with care, and curiosity, and attention to detail, which are what will make us happy and less afraid. - p. 99
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