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traveling mercies


And even though I am a feminist and even though I am religious, I secretly believe, in some mean little rat part of my brain, that I AM my skin, my hair, and worst of all, those triangles of fat that pooch at the top of my thighs. In other words, that I am my packaging. Even though both feminism and Christianity have taught me that I am my spirit, my heart, all that I have survived over the years and all that I have given, still a funny thing happened ... I looked in the mirror, and sighed, and thought to myself, I will cut my eyes out.

Then this little-kid voice, this Tweety-bird voice, said, "We need to pray." I sighed again. Eventually I lowered my face into the palms of my hands. I know you have bigger fish to fry, I said to God, but I need a little help with this stupidity.

(p. 172)


I was trying to spend less time thinking about what I see and more time thinking about why I see it that way -- why I continue, off and on, to see these nice sturdy high-functioning thighs with such contempt. It's so troubling to relapse in this area, especially since somewhere along the line, I have actually come to believe that a person being herself is beautiful -- that contentment and acceptance and freedom are beautiful. And most important, I have discovered I am clinically and objectively beautiful.

I really mean this in the literal sense. I believe that if you saw me, you would say, "Wow! What a beautiful woman."

I think.

I'm almost sure.

Until recently, I was afraid to say that I am beautiful out loud for fear that people would look at each other with amusement and think to themselves, Well, isn't that nice. But somehow I was not afraid to say it anymore.

(p. 200-201)


- from traveling mercies, by anne lamott

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 12:18PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments11 Comments

Reader Comments (11)

love that book :)
Nov 8, 2006 at 01:41PM | Unregistered CommenterIan
it's a good book. :) have you read anything else by lamott?
Nov 8, 2006 at 02:04PM | Registered Commentermdog
this is hands down one of my favorite authors and one of the best books in the history of humans
Nov 8, 2006 at 06:41PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
Nope, but I think there's a sequel to Traveling Mercies [looking it up... yup, "Plan B"], so I'll probably pick that up something if I see it somewhere cheap. Are you already a Donald Miller fan? If not you should definitely check out Blue Like Jazz. And maybe reallivepreacher.com (I'm refering here to the book, but of course if you like the book you'll like the website it's named after).
Nov 8, 2006 at 07:29PM | Unregistered CommenterIan
i loved this book as well :D
Nov 8, 2006 at 07:40PM | Unregistered Commenterlana
i see lamott is a big hit... with good reason.

ian - i just finally, recently read "blue like jazz". i'll have to check out reallivepreacher.
Nov 8, 2006 at 10:55PM | Registered Commentermdog
this is the next book on my personal "to read" list (as opposed to the "to read" list of my book club). i'm sure i'll get it read over the holidays.

nice to see your post on my blog, mdog--i wondered if you still stopped by.
Nov 9, 2006 at 10:46AM | Unregistered Commenteramo
oh, i'm reading... i'm reading. :)
Nov 9, 2006 at 10:51AM | Registered Commentermdog
Nov 10, 2006 at 01:17PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
i just picked up 'traveling' too.
Nov 15, 2006 at 04:11PM | Unregistered Commentermar

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