The opening line is my favourite:
“I’m stockpiling antibiotics for the apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen.”
Therein, I suspect, lie big clues about Anne Lamott’s psyche. And the book kind of backs up that theory.
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, is a quick read… a hundred and eighty something pages of what feels like random thoughts about, well, almost everything from forgiveness and brokenness, possessions, the gifts of poems and wine and the way a family can suffocate from thinking they know each other so well but don’t and won’t buy that truth, to the meaning of truth, and the question: what is a story?. She alludes (often) to the current state of madness in the world as well as making a case for milk chocolate by saying the 81% is not food but best used “as a shim to balance the legs of wobbly chairs”. (my response: I will happily eat those shims!)
All pleasant enough though not in any way rife with mind-bending insight… and despite Lamott’s tendency to whinge a tad too much and hide behind sarcasm, which feels to me out of place in a book that is meant to ponder deep(ish) thoughts. And chocolate.
Framed as wisdom imparted to a few youngsters in her life, it comes off a little too much like here goes know-it-all auntie, spouting off again. Albeit a pretty interesting auntie, one must admit.
Worth the time? Sure. In the way that having lunch with a friend who is slightly annoying and all over the place in her thoughts but still better than dining alone when you don’t feel like being alone is worth it.
“I spend a lot of time with old people who know things… More than any other sentence I have ever come across, I love Ram Dass’s line that when all is said and done, we are just walking each other home.”