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Beyond Bunnies: The Real Meaning Of Easter Season

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Beyond Bunnies: The Real Meaning Of Easter Season

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Beyond Bunnies: The Real Meaning Of Easter Season

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

NORRIS: Joining us for her reflections on Easter is Anne Lamott. Many know Lamott from her seminal book on writing called "Bird by Bird." Parents might fondly remember "Operating Instructions," her tome on motherhood. Anne Lamott also writes novels and has published three essay collections on her Christian faith. And she joins us now. Welcome to the program.

ANNE LAMOTT: Thanks, Michele.

NORRIS: I'm just curious about what the season means to you. It's a season that's about redemption and rebirth, but also about sacrifice and, as we said, great introspection. What does it mean to you?

LAMOTT: But it's a time when we get to remember that all the stuff that we think makes us be of such value, all the time we spend burnishing our surfaces and our appearance is really not what God sees. God, he or she, loves us absolutely unconditionally, as is, that it's a come-as-you-are party.

NORRIS: You know, as I'm listening to you talk about the Easter season and how God sees people as they are, I'm thinking about this wonderful essay that you wrote called "Ashes," about your son, Sam, when he was much younger. And you were trying to get him to understand what Ash Wednesday is all about, and he really just wants to watch television.

LAMOTT: Mm-hmm. I remember that Ash Wednesday, he happened to have "Alvin and the Chipmunks" on. And they were singing "Achy Breaky Heart," and I felt like I might have a complete nervous breakdown.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LAMOTT: And the abyss is pretty abysmal. You know, it's not - and the American way, I think, is to try to trick-out the abyss so that it's a little bit nicer, maybe go to IKEA and get a more festive throw rug. But in Lent, if you are a person of committed spiritual growth, you do stop.

NORRIS: How has that season changed for you over time, the season of Easter and Lent?

LAMOTT: So that's how it's changed for me is that was the day my life changed was when she said that to me.

NORRIS: What are you going to do on Sunday?

LAMOTT: And then I will go home, and I will have 25 people - about 15 relatives and 10 riffraff, i.e. my closest friends - and we will sit down, and we will eat, the most sacred thing we do.

NORRIS: Anne Lamott, it has been a pleasure to talk to you. All the best to you.

LAMOTT: You too. Thank you.

NORRIS: That was Anne Lamott. Her most recent book is a novel, and it's called "Imperfect Birds."

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