Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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 was awarded
many honoraria, including the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Gold Medal.

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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, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

      
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 though they may use different words to describe these states.  In the first happy condition, one seems to carry all one’s 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 of tying the shoe-string, whether one is in grace or not.  But there are techniques 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 before me, 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.
  
The 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 themselves or 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.  I 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 citizen.

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.  I 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."  I 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 permanent pure-relationship
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.
It excludes the rest of life, other relationships, other sides of personality,
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:  one 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 change, paradoxically
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 notice,
has a special quality of its own.

 

Intellectuals are constantly 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 a sense of
quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.
 

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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