Saturday, December 14, 2013


I just finished Anne Lamott's newest work-of-art, STITCHES. No accident that I finished it on the anniversary of Sandy Hook, as it was that horrible tragedy that spurred her to write it. So at a loss of what to do, how to move on, much less restore hope, she did what she does best, she wrote.

I can't think of a single person I know that isn't struggling to find meaning, hope, and/or in need of repair. The one-of-a-kind Anne Lamott did much to help me heal from the Newtown event that I've yet been able to really write about it, it's been sitting on a shelf in my brain for a year, not to be touched. It is too much to take in, too much to grieve, too much to be horrified and saddened by. It's all just too much.

I've seen a few interviews over the last year with parents of children that were killed that day. The stories of how one mom almost didn't send her son to school because he had been up late the night before, and had the sniffles, and how she's had to live with that choice to go ahead and send him.

When I met with the past-life reader, she said she was told by Spirit that the children of Sandy Hook were volunteers, sent with a very special purpose to wake us up from our sleep and change the way we do things. My only issue with that theory is that it implies the shooter was fated to shoot, and I just can't believe anyone makes a soul agreement before coming here, that they will become mass murderers. Maybe they volunteered to come here to change the world, and had it not happened the way it did, they would have each gone on to change it in other ways.

I don't know.

A tragedy does that to us, it shakes what we believe and what we thought to be true, and knocks us so far off kilter we are never the same again.

If you need help being put back together, I would highly recommend both of Anne Lamott's latest books, HELP, THANKS, WOW, and STITCHES.


Karen Gerstenberger said...

Dear Carrie, I'm looking forward to delving deeply into your blog as a treat. Having discovered you just as we are entering the holiday season, this might be delayed a few weeks.
I just finished "Stitches" during the Thanksgiving holiday, and I enjoyed it a great deal. My writing group went together to hear Anne Lamott read from the book, and she was great - just as quirky in real life as she is on the page, and just as raw.
I am glad that the book brought comfort to you, and hope it will do so for others, too.

kario said...

Stitches is sitting on my nightstand and I am determined to crack it open when I am not distracted by a million other things. Although, I am now questioning that idea since Help, Thanks, Wow was written in such a way that I could read small pieces and sit and ruminate on them for days. Given how much I need a healing balm right now, perhaps I will shut down everything else today and sit and read for a bit.


Elizabeth said...

I look forward to reading her latest, too, especially after this review. I have a good friend whose son was in first grade, across the hall from the class where all the children were killed, at Sandy Hook. Despite her child's survival, it's been a terrible, terrible year for her and her family, compounded by the conspiracy theorists who have, effectively, driven them nearly into seclusion.

We all need healing balms.

Cheryl said...

Maybe I've mentioned it here before... a book that's really helped me understand things beyond this world is "The Afterlife of Billy Fingers" by Annie Kagan.

There's definitely a bigger picture going on than we humans are able to see and comprehend.