‘Mister God, This Is Anna’

10 Sep

I’m on page 154 of 180, and I can’t make myself finish this book. Oh, I will, surely. because that’s what you do with wonderful books: You finish them. But in this case, I don’t want to be done with it. I love it so that I want to continue reading it.

The book in question is called “Mister God, This Is Anna” by an author who identifies himself only as Fynn. “Mister God” was written in 1974. It is worn and has that off-white yellowing that makes it even look like it’s from the ’70s. The sticker on the back tells me I bought it at a local used book store, Village Books, for 99 cents.

“Mister God” is a memoir about a little girl named Anna. Fynn finds Anna on the street one day when she is 4 and he is 19. They have an instant bond. Fynn takes Anna home, and he and his mother and family (but mainly he) raise her; Anna had run away, and she is filthy. When they clean her off, they see the bruises; “Mister God” makes no mention of Anna’s abuse again.

You see, Anna is too happy a little gal to go there. She is in awe of the world around her, and she sees the world through a pair of glasses I would like to own. They see the miracle in a piece of broken pipe, the beauty in a mirrored image, the God in everything.

Consider this graph:

“The whole business of adults going to church filled Anna with suspicion. The idea of collective worship went against her sense of private conversations with Mister God. As for going to church to meet Mister God, that was preposterous. After all, if Mister God wasn’t everywhere, he wasn’t anywhere. For her, churchgoing and ‘Mister God’ talks had no necessary connection. For her, the whole thing was transparently simple. You went to church to get the message when you were very little. Once you had got it, you went out and did something about it. Keeping on going to church was because you hadn’t got the message or didn’t understand it or it was ‘just for swank.'”

A simple idea. Some might say a blasphemous idea. But an idea that is clearly thought out, if only by a girl barely out of her toddler years, no?

And now, to share a line that I hope stays in me forever, because I find it beautiful. An old vagabond says this to Anna:

“My reason for preferring the darkness is that in the dark you have to describe yourself. In the daylight other people describe you. … The daylight is for the brain and the senses, the darkness for the heart and the wits. Never, never be afraid. Your brain may fail you one day, but your heart won’t.”

As I retype this out, I see that I read it wrong the first time. I read it, “Your brain may fail you once a day, but your heart won’t.” Is it egotistical to like my way better?

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One Response to “‘Mister God, This Is Anna’”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Well! You Sir Or Madam Are Wrong! | Book Polygamist - October 11, 2013

    […] ‘Mister God, This Is Anna’ on Snap, Crackle, Pop […]

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