Sunday Morning (Wake-Up Call)

When the breakfast is finished, people gather in a large, loose circle around Charlie, wanting a moment of his attention before they go, wanting to make sure he knows they came. After all, he serves these people as well. He hugs them in the same way he hugged Ron and Sid, with gladness and acceptance. You are four days sober and I love you. You’re about to get in your BMW and I love you. You are not my problem to solve but my brother to love, all of you. We want to get close so we can convince ourselves that he is made of some rare and superior material that hasn’t been given to us, but it isn’t true. Calling him a saint is just a way of letting ourselves off the hook. After riding around with Charlie, I find it shocking to realize how simple it would be to see myself as a worthless servant, to find joy in the service of others, to open my heart and let it remain open to everyone, everyone, all the time. The trick is in the decision to wake up every morning and meet the world again with love.

Ann Patchett, from “My Year of No Shopping” in “These Precious Days: Essays” (Harper, November 23, 2021)

Photo: Ann Patchett, author of “These Precious Days,” with her dog Sparky, who’s one of the shop dogs at her bookstore, Parnassus. (Heidi Ross)


  1. what magical words

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read this book immediately when I got it sent from my publisher. It’s a book I can recomment everybody. It’s not only well written but also provides a therapy for everyone who replaces being with shopping.
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It will take only some 225 days before I can lay my hands on it as per my info…. So, anything more you can offer, will be greatly received by this Patchett fan.
    I’m also looking regularly into her Parnassus bookshop’s dos but it seems that you lucky people always have pre-edition copies (yes Klaus, you too 😉 – tz tz tz). I was once chosen by Ama UK to be an ‘advance publishing’ reader but when I told them that I lived in Switzerland in the meantime, I got kicked out quickly. Unluckily for me, later on I lived in France and maybe I could have gotten back my ‘inside permit’ but I never wished to read books in French.
    Thank You for this gem. AND of course, she’s owning a dog who is allowed into the shop and may kiss custumers at any time 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such insightful words… Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sparky lives the good life and needs no books to make him wiser or more appreciative!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The last sentence….

    Liked by 1 person

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