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Aug 29, 2007

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne Morrow Lindbergh in the cockpit of the Lockheed Sirius in 1933.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born June 22, 1906 in Englewood, New Jersey. She died in Passumpsic, Vermont at the age of 94 on February 7, 2001. She was an accomplished lyrical author and aviator. Her 1955 book, Gift From the Sea (Pantheon), was on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list for 80 weeks, holding the distinguished spot of No. 1 for 47 of those weeks. This book contains reflections and meditations extolling the joys of womanhood and measuring it's sorrows.

Her bittersweet and sometimes controversial marriage to the renowned pilot, Charles A. Lindbergh, was widely watched and documented. The paparazzi hounded them continuously, especially after the kidnapping and death of their baby son, Charles Jr.. Charles attempted to control Anne to the point that her only freedom was through her writing.

Today, I have selected some of Anne's insightful and reflective quotes...

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.

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.

A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one's husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it.

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.

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.

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea.

Men kick friendship around like a football but it doesn't seem to break. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces.

Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone.

Life is a gift, given in trust - like a child.

A note of music gains significance from the silence on either side.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.

I have been overcome by the beauty and richness of our life together, those early mornings setting out, those evenings gleaming with rivers and lakes below us, still holding the last light.

It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.

One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay 'in kind' somewhere else in life.

To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.


The intellectual is constantly betrayed by his vanity. Godlike he blandly assumes that he can express everything in words; whereas the things one loves, lives, and dies for are not, in the last analysis completely expressible in words.

11 comments:

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Wow she was one insightful woman, wasn't she? I love all of those quotes...wish I were that pensive to come out with some memorable things!
I do remember now that you already did the middle name thing...so you are off the hook this time hehe :)
JUNE! Still enjoying my coffee...

Jill said...

I've always loved the writings of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I have an old copy of Gift from the Sea that was my mother's - I can't count how many times I've read it!

KJ said...

Thank-YOU dear Shabby for taking me off the hook... With that mischievous mind of yours, I feel my turn is coming again...sometime...soon...

Kj

Shelby said...

This is a treasure full of glorious findings. I'm so glad I blogged over here this morning.

She was an amazing woman and author - I spotlighted her too a few weeks ago as I read her book, Gift From the Sea. Awesome awesome.

She is inspiring me still.

I do wish you a fabulous day today :)

p.s. love the music selection you have today!!!!!!

Jen said...

She was awesome. A friend of mine..A Chelsea Morning just sent me her book A Gift from the Sea....I plan on reading it by the sea in Florida on our fall break....truly awesome..thanks for coming by it was grand to meet you too. Come back anytime.

Sharon said...

Thank you KJ for another inspiring post. It felt so peaceful just reading those words.

KJ said...

This was a great opportunity for me to revisit Anne's works as well! I never had my own copy of her book,
Gift From the Sea. Everything that I have read has either been borrowed or quoted. Doing this post made me add this title to my Amazon.com Wish List. I might even purchase the collector's edition.

Thanks to you all for your wonderful comments. It's nice to know that I wasn't alone on this nostalgic trip!

Best Blessings, kj

Poiema said...

I read _Gift from the Sea_ this summer AGAIN. It's always worth a re-read, isn't it? I love the quotes you selected.

MOM said...

The words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh are very perceptive but I feel a lonliness and a sadness behind the words, I think that she even portrays sadness in her picture. One of the thoughts that occurred to me while I was reading her quotes was: when she transitioned into Heaven, did she ask the Lord why would someone kill a helpless child. That wuld have been a question on my mind most of my life if I had been her. I wonder if she was buried next to her husband in Hana, Maui. As always dear daughter, you pick beautiful words and thoughts to give you depth in your thinking.

KJ said...

Before I posted this piece on Anne, I did read some extensive write-ups on her life. Many of the quotes that were not included in the post were layered with sadness and sometimes even an acceptance of the unhappiness that seemed to consume her. She did seek professional help in her life due to depression.

Her husband would even take her away for months at a time after she had given birth as a way of separating her from ties to her children. Very sad...

KJ

Julie Marie said...

Thank you for this. I am such a fan of AML. The things that lady had to live through - and she was always a LADY with capital letters.

That quote about conversation and coffee really struck a chord. When I am with my book club once a month it doesn't matter if I drink only decaf. I am awake all night and drunk on conversation!

Julie