A gifted and insightful writer, Anne Morrow
Lindbergh was born in 1906 in New Jersey,
the daughter of U.S.
Senator Dwight Morrow and poet and women's education advocate
Elizabeth Cutter Morrow. She married Charles Lindbergh in
1929, and began a life of flying.
Ms. Lindbergh was the
first licensed woman glider pilot in the United States. She
many honoraria, including the National Geographic
Society's Hubbard Gold Medal.
Don't wish me happiness--I don't expect to be happy.
It's gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a
sense of humor--I will need them all.
I do not believe that sheer
suffering teaches. If suffering alone
taught, all the world would be
wise, since everyone suffers.
To suffering must be added mourning,
love, openness and the willingness to remain
I believe most people are aware of periods in their lives
when they seem
to be "in grace" and other periods when they
feel "out of grace," even
they may use different words
to describe these states. In the first
one seems to
carry all ones tasks before one lightly, as if
borne along on a great
tide; and in the opposite state one can hardly tie a shoe-string. It is
true that a large
part of life consists in learning a technique
the shoe-string, whether one is
in grace or not. But there are
of living too; there are even techniques in
the search for
grace. And techniques
can be cultivated. I have learned by some
experience, by many examples, and
by the writings of countless others
also occupied in the search,
that certain environments,
certain modes of life,
certain rules of conduct
are more conducive to
inner and outer harmony than
others. There are, in
fact, certain roads
that one may follow. Simplification of life is one of them.
church is still a great centering force for men and women, more needed
than ever before. But are those who attend as ready to give
to receive its message as they used to be? Our daily
life does not prepare us
for contemplation. How can a single
weekly hour of church, helpful as it may be,
counteract the many daily
hours of distraction that surround it? If we
had our contemplative
hour at home we might be readier to give ourselves
at church and find
ourselves more completely renewed.
After all, I don't see why I am
always asking for
private, individual, selfish miracles when every year
there are miracles like white dogwood.
|The shape of my life today starts with a family.
I have a
husband, five children and a home just beyond the suburbs of New York.
have also a craft, writing, and therefore work I want to pursue. The
shape of my life is, of course, determined by many other things; my
background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and
its pressures, my heart and its desires. I want to give and take from my
children and husband, to share with friends and community, to carry out
my obligations to man and to the world, as a woman, as an artist, as a
But I want first of all in fact, as an end to these other desires
to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of
intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out
these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact
to borrow from the languages of the saints to live "in
grace" as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in
a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony,
essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony.
am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus
when he said, "May the outward and inward man be at one."
would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I
could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.
|I feel we are all islands--in
a common sea.
If you surrender completely to the
moments as they pass,
you live more richly those moments.
|For happiness one needs security, but
joy can spring
like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.
It takes as much courage to have
tried and failed
as it does to have tried and succeeded.
|One comes in the end to realize that there is no
and there should not be. It is not
even something to be desired. The pure
relationship is limited, in
space and in time. In its essence it implies exclusion.
excludes the rest of life, other relationships, other sides of
other responsibilities, other possibilities in the
future. It excludes growth.
My passport photo is one of the
most remarkable photographs
I have ever seen - no retouching, no
shadows, no flattery - just stark me.
|One can never pay in gratitude:
can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life.
One cannot collect all the beautiful
shells on the beach.
One can collect only a few, and they are more
beautiful if they are few.
Only in growth, reform, and
enough, is true security to be found.
The most exhausting thing
in life is being insincere.
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 it
was, nor forward to what it might be,
but living in the present and
accepting it as it is now.
When one is a stranger to oneself,
then one is
estranged from others, too.
To give without any reward, or any
has a special quality of its own.
betrayed by their vanity. Godlike they blandly assume
that they can express
everything in words; whereas the things one loves,
lives, and dies for
are not, in the last analysis completely expressible in words.
|Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give
quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem, or saying a
One learns to accept the fact that no
permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship;
and, more deeply still, that there is no holding of a
relationship to a single form. This is not tragedy but
part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth.
|Only when one is connected to one's inner
core is one connected to others.
And, for me, the core, the inner
spring, can best be re-found through solitude.
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