Be Light! A Message from Someone, Somewhere



From Anne Lamott:

Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart.

From me: The other night, in the middle of the Duke NCAA championship game (Go Blue Devils!), I got a message as clear as any message I’ve ever been sent:

 Be light

I’m looking for messages from my mom, who died three weeks ago. This didn’t really sound like Mom talking but who knows?

 Be light

So my new goal is to be lighter. I’d love to shake some pounds, and I plan to continue my downsizing project, but I think this lightness is meant to mean more. A true lightness. As light as spring clouds. As light as laughter. As light as sorbet or orchid flowers or Cliff when he says, “Let’s go downtown and eat outside. It’s a gorgeous night.”

My mom’s dolls, Mimsy and Mattie, are now living with me. They arrived last week in bubble wrap. As you can see from their expressions, they need to lighten up too.

Mimsy and Mattie

Be light

Have you lightened up in recent years?

Any tips for people and/or for dolls?

Here’s Wiki on the wise and wonderful Anne Lamott.

anne_lamott2 (1)And here is a splendid collection of Anne Lamott quotes on Goodreads. As we ponder lightness, I wonder what inspiration we can stir up from our earlier days.


24 responses »

  1. Great message! Good goal! I was just telling my husband that I’m glad we traveled when we were younger even if we had to go on the cheap to afford it. Now we are older and saddled with eldercare responsibilities, making travel difficult. Grab every opportunity to do what you want to do, including keeping it light!

  2. Lightening up.. you’ve already lost lots of weight. Getting rid of stuff is hard, and you’ve just collected some more treasures. Maybe the message here was to “lighten up… let it go…

  3. Yes, I really do think those dolls need to lighten up! (I had a “Hedda Get Bedda” doll when I was young that kind of encompassed two moods or feelings states – you could turn a knob and her “head” and facial expression would change!). Let’s be Hedda who is healed!!

    Not lighter in pounds! What’s wrong with us women? Why did we ever think being heavier weight-wise, was heavier in terms of our rewards from or enjoyment in life?

    I do believe your Mom is sending messages! This possible one, to be “light” sounds like the very creative and artistic person that she was from your writings.

    And, yes, I do think she meant be light in ways like orchid flowers and eating outside dining with Cliff.

    • Rena, I’d love to have you write this up as a guest post. I was sure that would be my response to endometrial cancer. I swore I would never grump again! But I find myself, sometimes, slipping back into old habits. You go!

  4. Yes. The unbearable lightness of Being! My brother the psychologist always says some of us are strung too tight and some too loose. When we are too tight there is no place for the light to stream in! Love Anne and love to you. I too waited to hear from my Mother and found she was in me all along.

  5. I love Anne Lamott. Thank you for sharing that.

    Yes, those dolls need to lighten up! I love that you’re listening for wisdom from your mother. Sounds like you’ve found a snippet. I’m trying to lighten up in various ways (including poundage!) but it’s the heavy heart and fears and worries that have been weighing me down most often of late. Thank you for the reminder to let at least some of it go. It’s doing no one any good, least of all me.

    • I wish I had good techniques for letting things go. My best is to engage in something fun, but that’s not always easy, especially when things are tough. Humor helps. Mom kept hers until the very end, which was a wonderful example for me.

  6. Lovely message. Be light, let go, lighten up, live. And I think of just releasing what is out of our control or what is no longer meaningful. A true midlfe message. I remember getting a message from my dad “Don’t worry, Juds, it will all be ok”. Brings tears to my eyes even now because I needed to hear it at that moment. I was walking in the woods alone, with many worries weighing heavy on my heart.

  7. My Aunt Ruth told her daughter once, “Lower your standards, honey!” I follow her advice when I feel I am obsessing to obtain “perfection,” especially when “satisfactory” is good enough.
    You are looking at “Be light” with “light” as an adjective. But couldn’t ‘light” be a noun? Then the message could mean “Bring happiness and joy! Be radiant!”

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