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09 March 2012 @ 05:30 pm
Harder than it Sounds  

Photo by Jim Schreckengest

While I am waiting very patiently to have a lunch date with Anne Lamott, it is so exciting to have had her recently burst into Twitterville, where she is sucker punching me in the soul with her 140-character neurotic blurts, irreverent prayers, laments, and deeply witty life observations. She is also on Facebook now, too. She notes that her publisher told her that if she didn't get on FB, he would hurt her dogs. God, the woman slays me!

She recently quoted poet/philosopher William Blake who says, paraphrased-- We are here to learn how to endure the beams of love. This one is now deeply embedded in my craw. We are here to learn to endure the beams of LOVE? Come again? Aren't we here to learn to suffer with grace, and love those that want to spittle upon us? I've spent the past decades learning to endure and withstand the beams of hate, intolerance, rejection, misunderstanding-- in my very own small, overprivileged white girl way. 

BEAMS of love, beams of Love, what am I missing? What kind of divine lesson is that? Seriously, how hard could that be? Move to the light. Stand still. Face up. Revel. Rotate for even cooking. I am certain I could even do this in my sleep.

Unless Blake considered Love in a much greater context, concept and complexity than I am considering. My idea of a good loving up by someone is when they ignore my flaws (or don't see them or find them charming,) insist upon me having my way, make me feel gorgeous, and listen till their ears spurt blood about something I want to talk about. And it wouldn't hurt if some warmed Brown Betty with caramel sauce is involved in this equation. Beam on me baby, beam on me.

But if you're talking about the kind of Love where someone always wants you to grow into the best version of you, pokes you gently when you dawdle, and waits patiently when you give the Universe the bird and hop on the trolley to Easy Street-- that might take some learning to endure. Can I endure a constant witness to my life? Can I withstand the knowledge that Love has seen all my failings, all my lies, my facades, my darkness, my utter selfishness, my vanity, and still Love wants to be next to me every moment? Can I survive the shame of that? Will I allow my pitiful, mortal, nekked self to be fully consumed by Love's light?

This could take a lifetime. Uh, maybe more than one.

May the Beam be with you--

P.S. Since Anne was so generous to come onto FB and Twitter and she does have a new book coming out in just days, I'd love to send you a copy of Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. Just tell me in 140 characters or less why you'd like to read it. You can leave a comment here, send me a message on FB, Twitter, or email me privately at maryhershey.

beckylevine on March 10th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
OMG, Yes, I would love to win a copy of Anne's new book. SAM had a SON? LITTLE Sam?! And thanks for letting me know she's on Facebook--her joining Twitter was the only thing making me regret leaving there. :)
(Deleted comment)
CS Perryess on March 12th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC)
Hi Mary,
I've already collected my literary winnings from you, so I recuse myself from this one. Still, I want you to know that I'm 100% behind the image of you not only enduring, but wallowing in the Beams of Love. Beam 'em down, Scotty!
jennifer_j_s on March 12th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
I think she is imperfectly perfect, the way we all are.
maryhershey on March 12th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, everyone, for your entries and good wishes. Best of luck to you each!

Yes, can you believe it, Becky? Sam has a little Jax. :- )

susanwrites on March 13th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
Would love to win/read her new book.

Reading Anne Lamott helps me remember that letting the world see the real me almost always helps me be more real and more me.

(Anonymous) on March 16th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Enduring the beams of love...what a crazy observation and concept that is, Mary! I've been thinking on it, and I'm wondering how many times I've pushed love away, even when I feel like I really need it...