Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gift from the Sea....Moon Shell

                                                  Print image, from Lawrence Lowe

Chapter three-Moon Shell
I've never held one of this shell for real, I do wish though some day I will. As Anne describes how it relates to her own life when she looks at it, self contained like an island. The past and the future are cut off only the present remains. Existence in the present gives island living an extreme vividness and purity.

I totally could relate and connect...for me when I take my walks in the woods, it brings me to that wild  natural state of solitude and to my own rhythm of how my body moves.  Being alone might have been a voodoo thing for some of us as we where growing up. The feeling of being left out some how becomes this social normal that we don't want to go through or be part of...well that is what some want us to believe.

I personal witness some of my young adults living in the homestead, the TV goes on right away...extra stimulation seem to be needed. I know for myself the silence is golden these days...and as Anne shares, We must re-learn to be alone. Their time will come.

Being alone is not a easy task for some, to break away and from all this... can be painful, Anne shares like an amputation....or a limb being torn off. Anne's word...It is as if in parting one did actually lose an arm. And then, like the star fish, one grows it anew; more whole, even than before, when the other people had pieces on one.

I will be heading to WI...I've been doing this journey for many years with my family when I was young with my husband to visit his I continue this journey back up north to present a workshop and also to have this solitude Anne describes.  Oh I quickly want some one to come with me...I've asked and some have come with me before but I've found the last couple of times it becomes my time for renewal a gift to myself.  Depending on myself though is scary but yes a freedom enters and then there is part of me that welcomes it with open arms.

I have to Anne's words here, Spiritual Isolation is what she's talking about..."It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love, it is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger."  Some how I know this as when I feel that loss and  strange in my own space that I've come un-glued or disconnect to a spiritual side in myself.

She continues...When one is a stranger to oneself than one is estrange from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. Having lost the springs that nourished thoughts..."The well has run dry"  Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
Getting wordy I know but such great reminders in these simple words, Anne shares in her book.

Photo image from Jack Ahearn Photography 

Her time, her energy, her creativeness drain out into these channels if there is any chance, any leak. Traditionally we are taught, and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed-and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim. 

Here is a strange paradox. Woman instinctively wants to give, yet resent giving herself in small pieces.  it's about giving ourselves purposelessly, and fear of leaking away through small outlets and going down the drain.

Yesterday...I was questioned by my mentor about how much time I put into something...and let me tell you I'm aware...aware of where things are draining away...not sure if I can make any big changes right away but as I also feel life has a way of giving us what we need to be working on at the I shared to myself I would like to work smart not so my second half of life is a big challenge isn't it?  

Help me out my book page 47...The natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give.  Now no longer fed by a feeling of indispensability or purposefulness, we are hungry, and not knowing what we are hungry for, we fill up the void with endless distractions, always at hand, unnecessary errands, compulsive duties, social niceties. And for the most part, to little purpose. Suddenly the spring is dry; the well is empty. It is so amazing to me reading this that this is something that we each have to become aware of on our own and make the adjustments. Darn I say us woman and man folk have been doing this for along time and will probably keep doing this...seeking our own balance, ebb and flow...

If it is woman's function to give, she must be replenished too...but how?

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. 

With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle it's demands in distractions. we throw ourselves off balance.  

Here is one that I can relate to....The mundane keeps me my homestead duties around the house are my rests in moment or mini solitude moments.  Anne shares, Woman has in their lives more forces which centered them whether or not they realized it; sources which nourished them whether or not they consciously went to these springs. Their very seclusion in the home gave them time alone. Many of their duties were conducive to a quiet contemplative drawing together of the self.  They had more creative tasks to perform. Nothing feeds the center so much as creative work, even humble kinds like cooking and sewing.  

Hanging laundry out on the line has been a very solitude practice for me....fresh air, simple movements and to hear all the sounds...though I understand in some neighborhoods, laundry hang is against the law...I'm so glad it's not in mine. 

As Anne comes down to the mind and hand connections...I feel being creative is so important. It is my response to life with my mind and hands. 

Here is one from page 55 for's a wonder

For the need for renewal is still there. The desire to be accepted whole, the desire to be seen as an individual, not as a collection of functions, the desire to give oneself completely and purposefully pursues us always, and has it's part in pushing us into more and more distractions, illusory love affairs, or the haven of hospitals and doctor's offices....I laugh at this only because of talking to my mentor yesterday and all the stuff I'm doing and loving to do are my own dismay...but my love affairs are creative ideas that has me spring out all over the place...should I Label it  ADHD?  or just go with a good hearty loving creative person with the will and backbone to do it and have purpose in my life. No labels. 

Do love reading like this even after 10 times and still having Aha moments with these wondrous words. 

Solitude?  yes says the Moon Shell, Center down, have creative work of your own, to understand oneself is to go inward. Be the pioneer of you inward strength, don't neglect your own inner springs and become drained. 

Messaged from the shell...and Anne, 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 or the world at large. You will remind em that woman must be still as the axis of the wheel in the midst of her activities; that she must be the pioneer in achieving this stillness, not only for her own salvation but for the salvation of family life of society, perhaps even our civilization. 

Thank you for hanging in there with me as disturbingly pulled parts that resonated with me on this awesome chapter-Moon Shell. 


  1. This chapter resonates with me, as well. Solitude is a gift we give ourselves. I have struggled with the issue of loneliness, and it is a push-pull issue with me, although I have been working on this for years, and have improved. Years ago, I used to go to a place in Stockton, Illinois (, where you can stay in a hermitage, alone, for as long as you want; very reasonably priced. I found that it takes at least 3 days for all the chatter to quiet down, and to begin to feel at peace with the solitude. It was there that I learned to love the practice of solitude. To be comfortable in my own skin, to have the time to dig deep in my soul and find the rough places, to learn to love myself wholly. I still, at times, feel "deserted" and lonely when by myself, but I have learned to recognize it for what it is, and that makes it easier to accept. I know now that eating a bag of potato chips is a way of avoiding having that feeling. I'm beginning to learn that it is ok to experience all kinds of feelings--even anger, hurt, loneliness. They will not consume me.

    Now that I'm retired, I don't have the need to be in solitude for days on end. I do, though, find time to just sit and be, either on the porch or on the riverdock. Sometimes I read, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I journal, sometimes I just sit and look. These are sacred moments for me, and they nourish my soul. They are prayers without words.

    "Woman must be the pioneer in this turning inward for strength." It does seem that women are more apt to dig into the spiritual realm. At least that has been my experience. I recall reading a book years ago, by Betty Eadie, and she said that there is a spiritual awakening occurring in the world, and that it would be led by women. I do see this happening, in various ways. And I see it benefiting not only women, but the planet. Who better to lead this paradigm shift, then women: the nurturers of our society?

  2. Love that Marge, solitude is prayers with out that what your saying...cuz if it is I get it whole hardheartedly. I love your comments on this book it's opening a side of you I might never of know. I'll be caring this all with me this week..


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