donderdag 30 augustus 2012

A gift from the sea

Een prachtig biografisch verhaal, geschreven door Anne Morrow Lindbergh tijdens een kort verblijf in een huis aan zee in 1955. Hoewel geschreven vanuit het perspectief van de vrouw is het beslist geen vrouwenboek. In dit boek deelt Anne haar ervaring van een week alleen leven op een eiland in Florida. Geen mensen, weinig spullen en veel tijd voor reflectie. Aan de hand van een aantal soort schelpen spreekt ze in haar boek over spiritualiteit. Niet zozeer vanuit een theologisch standpunt, maar vanuit een praktisch standpunt. 'Hoe kun je de stilte en de rust bewaren als moeder in een druk gezin met vijf kinderen?'
Een zeer inspirerend boek.

Patience, faith, openness, is what the sea has to teach.
Simplicity, solitude, intermittency."

Citaten uit A gift from the sea:

"One learns first of all in beach living,
the art of shedding;
how little one can get along with, not how much.


The sea does not reward those
who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient
Patience, patience, patience is what the beach teaches.
One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach
- waiting for a gift from the sea."


"The loneliness you get by the sea
is personal and alive.
It doesn't subdue you and make you feel abject.
It's stimulating loneliness."


"I mean to lead a simple life,
to choose a simple shell
I can carry easily like a hermit crab.
But I do not."


"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning
can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day -
like writing a poem or saying a prayer."

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
1906 - 2001