>Called Out of Darkness

>Good morning! It’s been a whirlwind… I drove from Seagrove Beach to Jackson, Mississippi on Friday to be with my mom at Baptist Hospital where she had hip surgery on Thursday. She’s healing okay, so the plan is for her to go to a nursing home/rehab center for about three weeks, and hopefully she’ll be walking again at the end of that time. When she returns to her assisted living home, she’ll be in the special Alzheimer’s unit where she’ll receive more individual memory loss care. Most of this weekend I’ve spent faxing Durable Power of Attorney forms everywhere, making phone calls and visits to several places, and packing up her clothes from her apartment for rehab. Thankfully the wonderful sitters from “Comfort Keepers” are with her 24/7, and the staff at the hospital have been wonderful. Also my friends in Jackson visit her when I’m not there and give me updates, for which I am so thankful.

Yesterday afternoon my niece, Aubrey, and her husband Tommy came to visit Mom at the hospital and then the three of us went to dinner on the patio at Walker’s, where the chef is the son of one of my mother’s best friends from Meridian, Missisisppi. The South is such a small world. I slept 8 hours last night, so I’m about to hit the road for Seagrove this morning, and will return to Jackson on Wednesday for a few days.
So… I’m pulling a post out of the can to share with you now… I wrote this about a week or so ago and saved it for after October 7… the date that Anne Rice’s new book would be out. Enjoy!
Anne Rice’s memoir, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, is due out October 7. There’s a great series of interviews with Anne about the memoir here.
In Part I she gives a great description of how Catholics (and this is true of Orthodox Christians as well) venerate images, like icons, and for Catholics, statues, but we don’t worship them, as Protestants sometimes misunderstand.

I also love how she talks about using hyperrealism in her work—meticulous attention to detail which raises it up out of the ordinary. In her first interview she says that this technique also made it easier for her to navigate the difficult waters of some painful childhood memories.

In Part II she talks about how her relationship with God was iconic—based on images rather than knowledge. She talks about how she uses both parts of her brain as a spiritual person and as a writer.
In Part III she reveals mischievous childhood actions, including the thrill of breaking into greenhouses and stealing orchids and the darkness of pushing a boy down a flight of stairs. Anne says these events gave her a real insight into what sin is. “We Christians talk too much about sin in other people. I think it’s important to talk about sin in our own lives…. If I could change anything in my life, it would be to take back any unkind word I said to anybody…. I can remember so many hurtful things that people said to me…. So I wonder how many people I hurt that way…. When Christ says to love your enemies, He means to be loving, to be kind. I felt I needed to talk about that in the memoir.” She also talks about the “glamour of evil,” and how she read all the atheists and existentialists and stopped talking to God at one point. She recounts the agony and pain of leaving the Church and God at one point, and I wept as I listened to this part of the interview, because I came close to that same decision about fifteen years ago.
In Part IV she talks about what triggered her return to God. She says she was “pretending to be an atheist.” “I’d been told that to think about God was to be weak, but everywhere I looked I saw God.” In nature, in history. She had a moment of transcendent happiness that started her on the road back to God, and Church, because these are inseparable for Anne. Finally she said, “I’m tired of pretending I don’t believe in God, just because it’s the ‘smart’ thing to do” [in the eyes of the world.]

Anyway, I can’t wait to read the book. It was fun driving past her house in New Orleans when I was there in May, in the neighborhood where Commander’s Palace is, and just imagining this gifted woman at work there.

That’s all for now…. I’m about to make the drive from Jackson back to Seagrove to join my husband for our last 3 days at the beach. Thanks for staying tuned!

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