Meaning in Pain

“I finally figured out that I had a choice:  I could suffer a great deal, or not, or for a long time.  Or I could have the combo platter:  suffer, breathe, pray, play, cry, and try to help people.  There was meaning in pain; it taught you how to survive with a modicum of grace when you did not get what you wanted.”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually):  Thoughts on Faith

Brokenness

“It really is easier to experience spiritual connection when your life is in the process of coming apart.  When things break up and fences fall over, desperation and powerlessness slink in, which turns out to be good:  humility and sweetness often arrive in your garden not long after.”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually):  Thoughts on Faith

Wise and Funny Anne Lamott

“But I actually knew a few true things:  I had figured out that truth and freedom were pretty much the same.  And that almost everyone was struggling to wake up, to be loved, and not feel so afraid all the time.  That’s what the cars, degrees, booze, and drugs were about.”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually):  Thoughts on Faith

Much More Than TV

From I Found It on the Internet:  Coming of Age Online, by Frances Jacobson Harris:

“Online communication has great potential for increasing intimacy and closeness in human relationships.”

(page 50)

This reminds me of what I used to say when we first got e-mail–“Somebody finally found a way to get men to write letters.”

I’m also reminded of how, before she died, I got to know my grandma better than I ever had before–after I moved to Germany and began posting pictures of castles.  She was my biggest fan.

Here’s how Frances Jacobson Harris led up to the above quotation:

“While new technology takes away some things, it also gives back others.  In the virtual environment, we lose visual cues, changes in tone of voice, and other subtle nuances that are clear in face-to-face interaction.  But the virtual setting brings along its own cues and conventions.  Participants are often more direct with one another, more candid, and so more “honest” than they would be otherwise.  Contacts may be more frequent and spontaneous, if only because they are easier to initiate.  There is simply less inertia to overcome, less start-up time.  Everyone is infected by this ease, not just teenagers.  Using e-mail and instant messaging, I have kept up with my far-flung middle-aged cousins as well as my teenaged nieces.  One no longer needs a “reason” to make the contact or, as my nieces would say, it’s just not such a big hairy deal any more.”

 

The Reading Conspiracy

From Reading Magic, by Mem Fox:

“Engaging in this kind of conspiracy with children is perhaps the greatest benefit of reading aloud to them.  As we share the words and pictures, the ideas and viewpoints, the rhythms and rhymes, the pain and comfort, and the hopes and fears and big issues of life that we encounter together in the pages of a book, we connect through minds and hearts with our children and bond closely in a secret society associated with the books we have shared.  The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading.  It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud–it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”

(page 10)