Recently, New York Times bestselling author, Anne Lamott graced Nashville with her presence; more specifically, she graced the Nashville Public Library’s Salon series, which seems so appropriate as she is a relentless advocate of the necessity of public libraries. If you are reading and are not familiar with Anne, I would suggest you pick up the nearest Traveling Mercies available. With all due haste. Make it a date night to go buy this book then read it with your significant other…
I promised that I would share some of Anne’s thoughts, which are really, all of our thoughts, said in a profound and hilarious way…
Anne spent most of the night conversing with another NYT bestselling author, Ann Patchett, who co-owns Parnassus Books, one of Nashville’s last independent book stores. The two were just hilarious, feeding off of each other, with elevated dialogue laced with grace and introspection.
Lamott covered the gamete of topics ranging from her new grandson, Jax, to faith, to writing, to activism. In her dialogue about writing a good story, she stated: “If someone will write about the mess with a sense of humor, I’m all in. Tell me a story. We are a species who is fed and enlivened by stories.” She also noted the discipline of writing is where the joy comes from and that being published is not (publishing makes you even more mentally ill than you were before, according to Anne).
Informing us about her grandson’s most recent sagacity into her slight tendencies to become over-committed, she quoted from Jax: “Nana, you are carrying too much and you are going to fast.”
By far though, my favorite part of the evening was her discussion of activism. “Listen young women, we [older, female activists] have fought for you to have the freedoms you have today… and our backs are tired and our feet hurt and our vision is failing. We need you to mobilize.”
Ultimately the evening ended because we were out of time and Anne had to use the ladies room. But I left with a sigh of relief on my breath, gratitude in my heart, and the fortitude to persist.
So Millennial women, what do you say? Can we elicit change? Can we carry the baton which is extended to us by generations of oppressed women?
Don’t forget there’s a few men pulling for you too!
And that is one reason you have all of my respect.