The shape of my life

by chuckofish


The shape of my life today starts with a family. I have a husband, five children and a home just beyond the suburbs of New York. I have also a craft, writing, and therefore work I want to pursue. The shape of my life is, of course, determined by many other things; my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires. I want to give and take from my children and husband, to share with friends and community, to carry out my obligations to man and to the world, as a woman, as an artist, as a citizen.

But I want first of all — in fact, as an end to these other desires — 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 languages 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. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and the inward man be at one.” I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.

–Anne Morrow Lindbergh, A Gift From the Sea

Today is the birthday of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a very wise woman. She was also an American author, aviator, the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, and a graduate of Smith College.


She was in fact celebrating her 50th reunion the year I graduated.  She gave a speech that year at Smith, “The Journey Not the Arrival,” which I don’t remember hearing–but I can’t believe I didn’t–which was later published. It is long out of print, but I am going to keep my eye peeled for that one!

Here is an interesting article with pictures by Jill Krementz taken around the time of her 50th reunion in 1978.

*The painting is by Dorothea Sharp