Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Plan B

I have been reading about seven books simultaneously... this is a sorry state of affairs, brought about by the fact that, sans gainful employment, I find it devilishly difficult to focus my mind. I'll give you an example.

A couple of days before Labor Day weekend 2005, I decided on a whim to remove some hated wallpaper in a bedroom, and paint the room the most wonderful colors: Swan Dive on the walls (a color I chose, frankly, because of an ani difranco song by that name, and which ended up being a wonderful cream with a hint of green in it), and pure sky blue on the ceiling. I decided all this on Wednesday. Friday I was removing wallpaper. Sunday at 4 PM I was finished painting. Fabulous. Right?

Fast forward to summer 2006. Yours truly had an interim pastorate that ended April 30, following which I planned to: 1) Be in a production of The Yeomen of the Guard with my kids (I ended up dropping out because my dad was sick); 2) Remove hated wallpaper in my living room and paint that room and the dining room; 3) Spend quality time with my kids before Larry-O went off to college. 4) Read, read, read. Guess which of the above I accomplished? Number 3. That's it. (Naturally, if I only accomplished one, that was the right one.)

As I've said: problems focusing. So I am wending my way through Will in the World (as mentioned yesterday), Transforming Congregations for the Future by Loren Mead, Life of Pi by Yann Martel (I've been assured it's life-changing, but can't get so excited just yet), The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler, Open House by Elizabeth Berg, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. I'm reading everything slowly, carelessly, a few pages at a time, in bed, or not. So far I've finished Open House (disappointing: it turns out the best way to get over a divorce is to find another man. Oh. Gee.). And I've really caught the bug for the beloved bard, again, as mentioned yesterday.

Starting this week I've been delving further and further into Anne Lamott's delightful and meandering book. Since it does indeed meander, it sort of matches my not-so-focused self. And Lamott has hit me right in the heart, especially last night. I read two chapters, one on her troubled relationship with her dead mother (as worked out in reference to her mother's ashes), and one on seeing a beloved dog through illness and death. One thing she is devastatingly on target about is the need to pray, pray, pray. Her relationship with God, with Jesus, is just so vivid and present... she envisions him pumping his fist in victory like a frat boy when her heart softens, just a bit, towards her mother.

So I am trying to take into my unfocused mind simply this: Pray, pray, pray. I think that's enough for tonight.


Suzer said...

I happen to be reading Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies" at the moment. Just put it down to come surf blogs for a while, and -- whaddya know?! Small world. :)

Magdalene6127 said...

Oh, Suzer, I love that book. Have you read "Operating Instructions," about her son's first year? Absolutely one of my all time favorite books, and a book that had me laughing until my stomach muscles ached. She is so wise, and has been through the fire.

Glad to be reading with you!