According to Anne Lamott, broken-ness has benefits. I learnt this from a book my friend lent me on Sunday, after she read my last entry and invited me over for salad, tea and ‘the best biscuits in the world, ever!’ (Thanks, my love). Here’s what Anne says.
Prayer is talking to something or anything with which we seek union, even if we are bitter, or insane or broken. (In fact, these are probably the best possible conditions under which to pray). Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen and do not have to get together before we show up.
I like this book a lot. She talks about how awful it is seeing her cat die,which reminded me that it will shortly be the anniversary of losing Miss G. Her agonising descent was accompanied by reading Julia Cameron’s Letters from a non believer. I started my own letters for a while then, beginning with some pretty wild and angry accusations at IT for letting my faithful and loving feline companion die so ignominously. Anne suggests this is ok because it was truthful and real, and her version of IT prefers truthfulness.
I don’t recall much about those letters now beyond what I’ve just said about my cat. Except, that writing them helped. The same as writing my last entry helped. It was my depressed, mucked up, pathetic, whining truth and I felt better for saying so. Writing helps.
I’m still not in sparkling shape. I have this project to finish this week, along with four rather bitter anniversaries. Dad’s birthday (today! Happy Birthday Dad, where ever you are), Mum’s death day, the last day I saw my best friend alive and losing Miss G. So I think its time to take Anne seriously and pray.
Help me to loosen up, to remember to breathe. Help me to clear away the debris of my bad memories. Let the pain wast through me. Give me perspective on my past, and help me to cultivate compassion for myself, my families and my friends, living and dead. For everyone who is bitter, insane or broken, may they experience kindness and peace. May we all be at peace.
 Anne Lamott, Help, thanks, wow: The three essential prayers, Riverhead Books, NY, 2012, p5-6.