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Anne Lamott inspires at St. Mark’s

Celebrated author Anne Lamott spoke on Friday night as the third and final speaker in the Fall 2012 Moon Lecture Series at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Lamott spoke on her newest book, “Help, Thanks, Wow,” and becoming a Christian in her 30s, something she really, really didn’t want to do, she explained.

The best-selling author, professor, lecturer, political activist, mother and grandmother has devoted her life to sharing her knowledge. For years, Lamott has taught writing courses, given lectures and travelled around the country simply trying to help others live their lives more happily and peacefully.

For nearly an hour Lamott cracked jokes about bantering denominations, growing up with atheist parents, perfectionism, drug addiction, weight and her current health problem – A.G.E. syndrome – as she said her doctor calls it. Her advice spanned nearly the broadest spectrum possible. She advised on how to stop worrying about what your butt looks like, she shared her experience working with deadlines, and during the Q&A she answered pleas from parents worried about the future of their entirely non-religious children.

As a writer, Lamott commended deadlines and simply writing whether you feel like it or not.

“I do really well with deadlines and structure,” Lamott said.

She considers the idea of waiting for inspiration, “just a way to get out of a day’s work.”

Somewhat ironically, there were many in the crowd at St. Mark’s who seemed to be there for just that – inspiration. Visitors listened and laughed with adoring eyes as they heard about one woman’s ongoing journey with life and what she says is her, and possibly everyone’s, biggest challenge – the mind. She talked extensively about knowing when to get help, calling a friend or family member to chat over a cup of tea, for example.

Lamott continued the lecture by reading aloud from her newest work of non-fiction.

“Thank you for my sobriety, my grandson, and my flowering pear tree,” she read from the first chapter of “Help, Thanks, Wow,” an honest and informal book on how she prays.

One of her last points of the evening was a familiar reminder to appreciate every day.

“The tangled web of the mind,” she says, is something that everyone deals with.

Friends, family, the outdoors and walking her dogs are all things that she chooses over getting caught up in fear, jealousy and worry.

The Moon Lecture Series is endowed by Rev. Bob Moon and Dorrie Moon. Visit the St. Mark’s website to stay up-to-date on future lectures, concerts and events.

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