Have you ever had one of those moments where you fulfill a dream? Right before it happens you have this heart pounding, adrenaline rushing moment of clarity and then your spirit kinda free falls. I had one of those moments last week; been meaning to write about it, but things have been so busy.
Last Tuesday Bestie L sent her girls to their grandparents for the night, left her hubby to his own devices, and made the 3 hours trek to Cleveland so we could go to Anne Lamott's lecture--Anne Lamott is one of our favorite authors, by the way.
After a quick tour of OHCity Library and a change of clothes we headed downtown to my new favorite drink spot, Bricco, for martinis and some delicious calamari and fried pickles. They have a drink called the Pink Elephant which is amazing...and enough of those will have you seeing pink elephants. Check it out if you're ever in downtown Cleveland!
In no time I was watching in anticipation as Anne Lamott made her way across the stage and began talking in that super chill voice that comes across in her books. She talked about her son Sam and their new book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son; she talked about her writing process, and even shared some stories from her life and experiences. And like her books it was funny and poignant and touching all at once. I was just sitting there being sucked in...so happy.
And then it was time for the Q&A and I was just dying to get up, to be brave, to ask her something intelligent because that would mean I would be mere feet from someone whose work I love, but I drew a blank--what to ask!? And as I sat there and my heart pounded and I tried to talk myself into getting up in front of hundreds of people I decided I just had to do it! I looked over at L and said, "watch my purse, I gotta go!" And after copious amounts of deep breaths I got in line and wound up being her last question.
After standing in line, listening to intelligent questions from others I still had nothing, so I said a quick prayer, took a deep breath and said,
*my conversation with Anne Lamott in front of hundreds of people--as best as I can remember it*
Me: "First off, I just need to tell you that I first read Bird by Bird about ten years ago after my best friend L, who drove down here tonight from Michigan to see you, gave it to me...and it's changed my life and the way that I write and I just wanted to tell you that and say thank you."
AL: "That's great. Thank you."
Me: "Now I am so glad the microphone can't pick up on my heartbeat because my heart is pounding and any intelligent question I had has left my head."
AL: "That's so sweet. The sound of the heartbeat is like the soundtrack for the universe."
Me: "Well, since I can't think of anything intelligent to ask I am reminded of when I went and saw David McCullough speak when I was in college and someone asked him what books he still turned to/motivated him...and that stuck in my mind all these years later that he still reads Seabiscuit, so since I can't think of anything else to ask, and since I'm a librarian--"
AL: *interrupts* "You're a librarian!? That's great! Librarians and teachers are going to have the best seats in Heaven!"
Laughter and clapping from the audience!
Me: "Thank you."
AL: "So you were asking..."
Me: "So what books inspire you or what are your favorites or what are books which you turn to when you need to read something?"
**And I will have to post her answer to that question later as Bestie L wrote down her response for me, as I didn't have paper with me**
I just stood there in awe, so happy, listening to her answer and grinning like an idiot. I'd finally gotten to have a conversation with Anne Lamott. I walked to my seat with the biggest, goofiest grin on my face; I grabbed my bag and convinced L that we should go and get in line for our books to be signed. As we were sneaking out while the Emcee was thanking everyone for coming who should we see walking next to us but Anne Lamott!!! Holy cats! I could have died happy just then!
Waiting in line to see her I couldn't wipe the goofy grin off my face and noticed as more than a few people would look my way as they were exiting and say,
"That's the librarian." No joke! I had gained some kind of cool street cred. :)
In no time we were getting our photo snapped with Anne Lamott and she was telling me how sweet I was and that I asked a great question and I could have died of happiness right then, but I didn't. I managed to swoon my way back to Bricco's for another amazing Pink Elephant and post talk discussion with my best friend...and the night was amazing...and we stayed up too late...and we laughed a lot...and I went to bed SO. HAPPY.