Tuesday, September 6, 2011


meets the Guinness Book of World Records
the intersection of Sunset and Alvarado, Echo Park, CA, broad daylight,
With an eye to my forthcoming book, today ELIZABETH SCALIA aka The Anchoress, is running a Q and A we did together a while back.

A sample:

In the book, you describe a kind of Incarnational Mysticism -- the grace of doing everything for God, and seeing everything as coming from God. Without grace, this would seem impossible. Our faulty humanity would constantly distract us, challenge us, get in the way. But is this something one can train oneself to? Because it seems to me if one could, it would remove every obstacle to peace.

Well, I think the grace is a complete unbidden gift and then, as has often been said, we get to cooperate with it. I got the grace of having the obsession to drink removed, for one central example, and for twenty-four years, I’ve devoted ten or twelve hours a week to cooperating. Directly cooperating with that particular grace, and then there are the many, many more hours when I cooperate with grace in general. I am fairly disciplined (which no doubt stems from my desperate need to manage and control, but make your neuroses work for you, I say!). And to be fair, I’ve simply seen that some kind of rudimentary discipline—which is itself a grace—works. “Moving easy in harness” Robert Frost described the rules of poetry, and once the harness is in place you find it is guiding you where you wanted to go, perhaps unbeknownst to yourself, all along.

Read the whole interview here.


  1. Great interview. And one thing I love about your posts is the pictures and your ability to see God in everything, such as a flower growing randomly in a sidewalk, a curious face, a bug, a bunch of clouds...

    Much of the time, I need to consciously try to see God in everything, unless I am in a forest/field or other place of obvious beauty. As you show, it is important to also see God where God is not as obviously manifested.

  2. Heather, I love the question you chose to share, and your response. Confusing 'religion' with true 'Christianity' would leave one imagining that it is possible to "train oneself" to grace. But, to me, that would be rather like wearing a costume of grace over an unchanged heart. Christianity is, if nothing else, a changed heart -- a humble heart that chooses to cooperate with the unbidden GIFT of grace, as you say so well. I will probably end up borrowing your lovely answer as I respond to folks who want to get busy and "do" grace without truly receiving it first.

  3. Beautiful, as always, Heather.

    God's mercy is truly amazing, isn't it? Especially for those inclined to melancholia, as I am -- it is a candle of light in the dark, to follow and to remember. :)

  4. I was lucky to find your shirtofflame.blogspot.com site. I'm so surprised by your way of thinking and writing. Have you thought about writing a book?


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