The Year of Living Deeply 15: You don’t have that kind of time


About a month before my friend Pammy died, she said something that may have permanently changed me.

We had gone shopping for a dress for me to wear that night to a nightclub with the man I was seeing at the time. Pammy was in a wheelchair, wearing her Queen Mum wig, the Easy Rider look in her eyes. I tried on a lavender minidress, which is not my usual style. I tend to wear big, baggy clothes. People used to tell me I dressed like John Goodman. Anyway, the dress fit perfectly, and I came out to model it for her. I stood there feeling very shy and self-conscious and pleased. Then I said, ‘Do you think it makes my hips look too big?’ and she said to me slowly, ‘Annie? I really don’t think you have that kind of time.’

–Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life



You don’t have the kind of time not
to be writing the kind
for another episode of Without a Trace
or Brexit or another podcast about money that
kind of time you don’t have you
ignore another day goes by without art making you
don’t have time not to make it you don’t
have that kind the kind that runs
out one day after the kind you don’t that kind of
time you do have time you do Have Time
you do do you know it you know it you
know it time is on your side but not time
you don’t have (Write it!) and you don’t
have time for Twitter


  1. I don’t hve the kind of time to read blogs about not having the time but I’m glad I made the time to read this. Thank you – time is never wasted reading your kind of words!


  2. I have not been able to get away from this poem since you posted it. That blog post stays in my inbox ( in context, I’m an email deleter par excellence…) so I can look at it on screen, daily if need be. I have also printed it out, not to put on the fridge, but to put in a plastic folder back to back with Marie Howe’s ‘Prayer’, tucked into my journal folder. Both poems speak to me of time and priorities. As I age, each are increasing in value.

    I wasn’t sure if the poem was one of yours or by Anne Lamott – from the comments above I’ve worked out it’s yours…

    Looking forward to reading your new books. Thank you, Anthony. You and your poems are much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for leaving this lovely, kind message, Val. I appreciate it more than I can say. I am honoured to be in the company of Marie Howe. With very best wishes and thanks, Anthony


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