Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What the Moon Shell Says

I’m interrupting my exhaustive travelogue for the Summer Book Club hosted by Lesley at The Bower.

This week’s chapter of Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is Moon Shell and the proposal that replenishing our solitude feeds our soul.

Graphic purchased from The Vintage
Workshop; modified by me

I’ve made a reminder calendar for myself so I don’t miss book club readings and subsequent postings about each chapter. You’re welcome to use it; just click to enlarge and print.

Graphic purchased from The Vintage
Workshop; modified by me

Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes, “Solitude, says the moon shell…[a] new way of inward living.” This turning inward and finding balance at the core of my being will revivify my soul. After reading this chapter, I think she’s right.

There’s much in Ms. Lindbergh’s writing that resonates with me. My tendency to engage “in the fervish pursuit of centrifugal activities which only lead in the end to fragmentation” often has me feeling that same sense of “Zerrissenheit—torn-to-pieces-hood” the author describes. I frequently want to withdraw, do absolutely nothing, and be left alone which I previously considered unhealthy and took great pains to prevent.

It seems, however, that my inner self is right—if I’d only listen, but I don’t. As a result, I’ve allowed my inner resources to be drained which I didn’t realize until reflecting on this passage:

Solitude alone is not the answer; it is only a step toward it…The problem is more how to still the soul in the midst of its activities. In fact, the problem is how to feed the soul.

That, right there, is what I forget over and over again. The moon shell urges the need to turn inward and spend time with oneself which, in turn, replenishes our very essence, thus feeding our soul.

And the spiral inherent in the shell’s design moves not only inward but outward as well. Nurturing strength within myself first best equips me for giving to others later.

Everyone has a place in the world they find spiritual. For me, it’s the sea with its waves washing ashore carrying all of divinity to us—a reiteration of the spiral concept. That’s a notion I can carry inside me even when I cannot be there. And maybe with a moon shell in my pocket, I will remember to take time each and every day to replenish my solitude and subsequently feed my soul.


“Solitude, says the moon shell.”

I’m listening.


Mrs.Kwitty said...

Very nice post JunieMoon. I am a firm believer in the solitude thing--coming from a large family and then having a family of my own, I have found that it's very important to have the quiet time and let your soul and mind rest. Silence is golden (and is often as rare as gold!)
Peace to you, my friend.
Smiles, Karen

Kelly said...

Thanks again for the blog comment. I've added you to our blogroll, hopefully we'll pass some readers your way!

Yummers! said...

Hi Junie Moon,
That was a very nice post. Thanks! I am a huge Anne Morrow Lindbergh fan. I read Gift from the Sea years ago at a time in my life when I needed to become more introspective. I read it over and over. Then I read her biographies/journals... Bring Me a Unicorn, etc. She became the woman 'I'd most like to spend a day with'.

Can't wait to see "Project Runway" tonight... and the movie "Mama Mia" on Friday.

Looking at going to Phoenix the first week in Nov. for my birthday with Kristin. We should have lunch or... something.
Love to you,

Pat said...

This was wonderful to read June! I read this book long ago in high school and I should take it down from my bookshelf to read it again.
I love the end of the quote that says "to feed the soul."
I often enjoy solitude and quiet contemplation. Prayer or meditation is a lot like that -- a disconnect from all that is going around us to an inner place of peace and quiet.

I love your graphics and shell photo. Beautiful!

Robyn said...

Lovely post June! Continue to have loads of fun dear friend! And thank you very much for the lovely comment, it meant the world to me!

hunnybunny said...

What a wonderful post! I've never heard of that author although I think I NEED to read some of her books.
If you are ever low on shells let me know, ours aren't that pretty but they are picked with so much love!

Anonymous said...

Oh June, this is all so true and I'm so pleased for you that it has made a connection with you. I too am always so "at home" when I'm at or near the sea. I've never been fortunate to live there and miss it so much when I visit and must leave. I love the wise words of Anne Morrow Lindberg you have shared -- I shall heed them as well. A truly moving and beautiful post. Thank you.

Cat said...

Oh how thought provoking. I am soo behind and I don't know how in the world I got there ;-)

I to turn inwards and always thought it unhealthy. I can't wait to catch up and read this chapter.