Tuesday, February 4, 2014

after the smallness of the day

“I want first of all... 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 language 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.”

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“One writes not to be read but to writes to think, to pray, to analyze. One writes to clear one's mind, to dissipate one's fears, to face one's doubts, to look at one's mistakes - in order to retrieve them. One writes to capture and crystallize one's joy, but also to disperse one's gloom. Like prayer - you go to it in sorrow more than joy, for help, a road back to 'grace'.”

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, from War Within & Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1939-1944

“This is what one thirsts for, I realize, after the smallness of the day, of work, of details, of intimacy - even of communication, one thirsts for the magnitude and universality of a night full of stars, pouring into one like a fresh tide.” 

- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

It's been ages since I read A Gift from the Sea, and though I know I own the book, have spent 20 minutes looking for it on my shelf to no avail. If it doesn't turn up - I'll have to buy another copy.

Probably most of you know the story of AML, her family, and her husband's secret life.

Well, in the quotations above, she says so much that speaks to me.

The desire, especially, for grace, to be at peace with myself, to find the hum of an inner harmony. And though I embrace the smallness of the day, one also wants something larger for oneself. To be Someone. To do meaningful things and to write lasting things.

That constant need to keep one's life in the realm of balance - beautiful, unachievable balance. In the vicinity. To yearn for those larger moments, while still managing to sweep the dog hair from the floor, buy groceries, cook, go to work, and yes, go to the bakery. It's easy to get caught up in it all and forget to carve out time to do one's soul work, which for me, is writing. It's not enough to thirst for it, one must do.

But, trips to the bakery - also lovely.

(mini Danishes from Cob's Bakery)


  1. Gift From the Sea is one of my all-time favorite books, and the passages you quote here are like a balm. Yes, yes, and yes. xox

  2. yes.
    she saw me through my adolescence and my young married years. a centering of sorts.
    i loved her writing. her courage. her spirit. i literally consumed everything she ever wrote.
    a lovely post!
    the goody treats not bad either!!! LOL. yum.

  3. I adore Gifts From the Sea, but was stunned to learn of Lindbergh's double life. I am saddened by that. But glad that Anne was strong in her own life. I wonder if she knew, or suspected. Maybe that is why she went to the sea for time alone.

  4. I am on my way to my bookshelves right after writing this to find Gifts from the Sea so that I, too, can re-read it. Your post is, as always, beautiful and timely. I've been thinking a lot about grace lately as well, and the need to be at peace with myself once and for all!

  5. Thank you all! I STILL can't find my copy.......time to order a new one I guess...!


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