November 26, 2008

Gift From The Sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I had never heard of Gift From The Sea before until I read about it in a book I read earlier in the year, The Piazzas of Florence, where the author quoted from it frequently.
Gift From The Sea is a gorgeous little book, first published in 1955 I think a lot of it's main messages remain relevant to women today. The book is basically a reflective piece of writing by the author or what it means (for her) to be a woman in "today's" society - the difficulties of finding a balance between work and home life, finding time for the different roles that encapsulate who we are but also finding time for ourselves to just be. I was taken aback by how much this book spoke to me in the present day when I realised that it had been written over 50 years ago!

The author talks about how rare it is to be able to find time to ourselves and how undervalued this time actually is:

If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange

This message is accompanied by one that demonstrates just how full we make our lives:

The space is scribbled on; the time has been filled. There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well.

I don't feel that the author necessarily talks about solutions for these issues but the read is a thought provoking one.


Wendy said...

Ah, great little book - I agree! I love this book...thanks for such a thoughtful review of it :)

Karen said...

Hi Wendy - I was trying to get onto your blog yesterday to link to your review because I remembered that you had read this one also but for some reason I couldn't connect - sorry!

nutmeg said...

I had not heard of this book 'til last year and I really found it a thought provoking read. One to go back to again and again...

Wendy said...

Hi Karen - my server was having a meltdown for seems to be fixed now. Here is the link to my review :)

Karen said...

Hi Nutmeg - I agree, a great book to have on hand - glad I discovered it.
Hi Wendy - many thanks for the link to your review!