I borrowed Lauren Winner’s new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, at the beginning of the summer from a friend. And I still haven’t returned it.
It’s one of those books that you can read in one sitting if you don’t stop yourself, so after I read about half of it, I sort of purposed to savor the rest.
In classic Lauren Winner style, each chapter is its own vignette. A minute or a day or a season of her life.
Or just a glimpse of the way her mind works.
I am one of those over-educated library types who might be expected to look down her nose at self-help books–but the whole bookstore is a self-help section to me. When something needs to be fixed, when I need something to change, my first and abiding instinct is to read. I think I can read my way to a solution. Or at least an evasion.
For starters, she is really, really smart. Like really. She uses words like peregrination.
But also, she has this sincerity in her writing about this journey called faith that draws me in and through all the wordy words. I love it.
I loved Still like I’ve loved Girl Meets God, Real Sex and Mudhouse Sabbath.
All brilliant and honest and chit-chat-over-coffee true.
Really smart chit chat.
One of my favorite pieces is called Busyness During Lent. In a discussion on the seven deadly sins, someone remarks,
Busyness is the new sloth.
Winner’s meditations on this throwaway statement lead her to pen these thoughts,
Busyness, the feeling of never being caught up, the fantasies about myself that busyness fosters–this busyness is just as disorienting, just as deadly as the traditional seven. I am deeply slothful, undisciplined and always staring off in to space or slinking away with a novel. And yet, busyness as often as laziness supplies my excuse: I am too busy to go to church, too busy to pray; there’s not enough time to pray, not enough time to hold body together, let alone soul. I am too lazy to do what’s important, or hard, so I stay busy with everything else.
I am too lazy to do what’s important, or hard, so I stay busy with everything else.
Letting that one soak in today.