Friday, February 13, 2015

Small Victories by Anne Lamott

Small Victories:  Spotting Improbably Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott is a compilation collection of new with "old" essays.  If you've read all of Lamott's essay collections, you may find yourself reading something that's familiar.  I know I found myself revisiting some stories from Lamott's life that I had read before.

It is interesting to see how the new is merged with the old, how common themes in the author's life seem to thread the disparate stories into a collection that works cohesively even as the chronology weaves through time.  One essay will have Lamott lamenting the vagaries of being 60, sharing about being a grandmother, and a later will have her a single mother, still young and trying to make sense of herself and the world.  

I admit; I took great comfort in seeing how the confusion of youth, though tempered, never fully fades away. I know I've praised Lamott's works before and I won't stop now.  However, to be fair, I will say that I took exception to something she says in "Matches," an otherwise charming piece about dating in the modern age.  Her experiences are not far removed from my own and those of my friends who have tried online dating.  In this essay she says that "most of the women" she knows don't want to have sex.  I wish she knew the women I know.  Yes, some of the women I've worked with don't seem to enjoy sex (which says a lot about the men in their lives) but almost every woman I know enjoys sex and enjoys it frequently.  Some even wish they could have it more often.  

I don't have to agree with Lamott to enjoy and even delight in her stories, in her skill at elevating a simple personal experience and make it something profound and universal.  Lamott is a master story teller and there is much to learn from reading her essays.  I love her humor and always shall.  Liberal in her politics and her Christianity, she may not be everybody's cup of tea but she's mine each and every time.  Yes, even when I don't necessarily agree with everything she says or believes.

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