Because my friend is dying, I threw a dinner party on Saturday. It’s Anne Lamott’s fault. I heard her tell a hilarious story about coming alongside a friend who had cancer, and how the two of them decided it all sucked so bad, there was nothing left to do but throw a dinner party. But her sick friend didn’t have any matching napkins, so this made everything even worse . . . and even better.
So I sent out invitations, roughly quoting Anne, “When a friend is dying, throw a party with non-matching napkins.” And my friend and her cool daughters, my daughter and her cool boyfriend, and my friend with the cool baby and husband, all came. The bbq didn’t work. It rained that morning. My daughter’s boyfriend turned pasty white after having to blow up a giant orca that floated around flirting with the giant crocoldile that assumed “take me I’m yours” positions in our postage-stamp sized pool.
But I cooked up a storm and made margaritas that knocked the socks of us all. We told stories and laughed, got serious, laughed some more, toasted the absent loved ones, and told more stories.
“Who’s Anne Lamott? What was that quote all about on the invitations?”
“She’s a writer from San Francisco who taught me courage. Totally.”
Here’s Anne Lamott in person. I know the clip is 57 minutes, but you can ration yourself and watch 5 minutes at a time. Every single second is worth listening to.
Writing Tip #5–All Write!
We’re in a community of artist children. The sort-of playschool of the world. And although we may create alone, behind drawn blinds, how much richer and braver and deeper our art becomes when we allow others to comfort and challenge us. Writer’s block? Stomach in knots? Get out the clay, wash the brushes, open the file and show up for a half hour. Then, watch this video!