Monday, August 6, 2012

Real, Ideal, or Denial?

"Joy is the best makeup."

I came across this Anne Lamott quote one day last week, and it has stuck with me. When I feel my face scrunch up in annoyance or anger or realize I'm clenching my jaws, this simple phrase pops into my head. And it helps. I ry to smile. I relax my jaw. I wonder what a crabby apple I must look like to those around me.

I've only read one of Lamott's books, Imperfect Birds. I can't say whether I enjoyed it, but I found it interesting enough - intriguing enough - to keep reading. At the outset, I dismissed Elizabeth as a silly mother in an agonizingly drawn out denial about her daughter's drug addiction. But as I continued reading, my inner voice kept whisperhing, "What would YOU do if you were in Elizabeth's shoes?"

As I continue to reflect on the novel, I find myself wondering if Elizabeth was in deep denial, or was she everymother, a woman just trying to turn her real reality into her ideal reality? And if that's the case, who among us hasn't attempted that great feat?

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