I am a fan of Anne Lamott. I rarely read O Magazine. By chance some months ago these two facts ran up against one another when I picked up a copy of the November 2009 issue. And there she was, author Anne Lamott, issuing some bawdy, heart-felt, well-lived words of wisdom. She always seems to speak to me. At this time of transition professionally and geographically I take some additional solace in her reflections.
The piece starts:
“We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. “
[The full article: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-To-Find-Out-Who-You-Really-Are-by-Anne-Lamott]
What I know these days seems to be precisely and solely this: where I start. And this location stands on and alongside and messily in the middle of all the writers and performers and thinkers I love.
In the mean time I listen to my favorite version of “Where Do You Start?” (by Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Johnny Mandel), by vocalist Kitty Margolis, with stunning piano accompaniment. I love this better than any I’ve heard and I’ve heard a number, from Feinstein to Bennett. I wish Garland could have had her way with these amazing lyrics and this amazing melody. Margolis, on her “Evolution” recording. http://kittymargolis.com/html/music/music_evolution.htm
Ah, lyrics. And though I am not going through a relationship break up as evoked by this tune, movement and change generate for me romantic reflections and separations from place and time and connections. Where to start. Where indeed.
Where do you start? / How do you separate the present from the past? / How do you deal with all the things you thought would last? / That didn’t last.
With bits of memories scattered here and there / I look around and don’t know where / to start.
Which books are yours? / Which tapes and dreams belong to you and which are mine? / Our lives are tangled like the branches of a vine / that intertwine.
So many habits that we’ll have to break / and yesterdays we’ll have to take / apart.
One day there’ll be a song or something in the air again / to catch me by surprise and you’ll be there again. / A moment in what might have been.
Where do you start? / Do you allow yourself a little time to cry? / Or do you stop and simply kiss it all goodbye? / I guess you try.
And though I don’t know where / and don’t know when / I’ll find myself in love again
I promise that there will always be / a little place no one will see
A tiny part / deep in my heart / that stays in love with you.”