American Novelist and Non-Fiction Writer
American Novelist and Non-Fiction Writer
Music is about as physical as it gets: your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to any other way.
New is life.
Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you?re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn?t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It?s going to break your heart. Don?t let this happen.
Our preacher Veronica said recently that this is life's nature: that lives and hearts get broken -- those of people we love, those of people we'll never meet. She said that the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward and that and that we who are more or less OK for now need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, you bring them juice and graham crackers.
Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together before we show up.
Rosie had been a little girl with a dead dad, and there was no getting around that or over that. Even a drunk dad, even an asshole, was better than a dead dad, which shouldn't reflect on you but did, and left a cannon hole in your heart.
She walked to the front door. 'Hello?''Hello,' a woman's voice said. 'Are you a Witness?' 'I swear to God I didn't see a thing.
Some people wanted to get rich or famous, but my friends and I wanted to get real. We wanted to get deep. (Also, I suppose, we wanted to get laid.)
Thanks' is a huge mind-shift, from thinking that God wants our happy chatter and a public demonstration and is deeply interested in our opinions of the people we hate, to feeling quiet gratitude, humbly and amazingly, without shame at having been so blessed.
The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. Gratitude is peace.
The truth is that your spirits don't rise until you get way down.
There is cracks, cracks, in everything, that's how the light gets in.' I had cracks but not the hope.
They always threw their arms around and hugged me while crying our Yiddish endearments. Yet none of them believed in God. They believed in social justice, good works, Israel, and Bette Midler. I was nearly thirty before I met a religious Jew.
This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.
Tom said either you learn to live with paradox and ambiguity or you'll be 6 years old for the rest of your life.
We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.
We were raised to believe in books, music, and nature.
What if you wake up some day, and you?re 65? and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life?
when people don?t have free access to books, then communities are like radios without batteries.
When you make friends with fear, it can?t rule you.
Wow has a reverberation - wowowowowow - and this pulse can soften us, like the electrical massage an acupuncturist directs to your spine or cramped muscle, which feels like a staple gun, but good.
It gets darker and darker, and then Jesus is born. That line came back to me, from out of nowhere, and I decided to practice radical hope, hope in the face of not having a clue.
It was not facing what life dealt that made you crazy, but rather trying to set life straight where it was unstraightenable.
Jesus is busy with his own stuff, and is not going to get involved in your little tug-of-war. Plus, don't forget, he has his own mother to deal with. She's all he can handle, as far as mothers go.
Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe. But what you have to offer is your own sensibility, maybe your own sense of humor or insider pathos or meaning. All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions.