Friday, February 29, 2008

The Moon Shell

In her book Gift From the Sea,
Anne Morrow Lindbergh gives her
second shell, the moon shell, the title of solitude.
"On it's smooth symmetrical face is pencilled with
precision a perfect spiral, winding inward to the
pinpoint center of the shell, the tiny dark core of the
apex, the pupil of the eye. It stares at me, this
mysterious single eye ~ and I stare back.
Now it is the moon, solitary in the sky, full
and round, replete with power.....
How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How
one avoids it. It seems to imply rejection or
unpopularity. We seem so frightened today of being
alone that we never let it happen......Now instead
of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms,
we choke the space with continuous music, chatter,
and companionship to which we do not even listen.
It is simply there to fill the vacuum. We must
re-learn to be alone. It's a difficult lesson to learn
today - to leave one's friends and family and
deliberately practice the art of solitude
for an hour or a day or a week. For me,
the break is the most difficult....like an
amputation, I feel. And yet, once it is done,
I find there is a quality to being alone that is
incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the
void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.
Moon shell, who named you?
Some intuitive woman I like to think.
I shall give you another name - Island shell...
I can take you back to my desk in
Connecticut. You will sit there and fasten
your single eye on me....You will say to me
"solitude". You will remind me that I must
try to be alone for part of each year ....
even a few days; and for part of each day,
....even for a few minutes, in order to keep
my core, my center, my island quality.
You will remind me that unless I keep the
island quality intact somewhere within me,
I will have little to give my husband,
my children, my friends...." *photos ~ nationalgeographic.com

1 comment:

  1. Beee-u-tiful! There is a poem called Whelk by Janet Frame that I will have to send you.


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