Thursday, June 12, 2014

A few shells....Week 7 Gift from the Sea

Amazed at how long it's taken me to get back to some what normal balance,  it use to take just one day after an art fair but now it's Thursday and with all the homestead chores caught up I'm here....moving on to week 6 of Gift from the Sea....A Few Shells,

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Anne's two weeks is coming to an end and she's packing up and ruminating about the beach. Asking herself these questions...What answers or solutions have I found for life? what clues from these few shells in my pocket?

The compulsion to horde the goods from the beach was natural, like capturing  all the beauty and bottling it up....and bring it all back so you will have it for ever and ever...

The collectors walk with blinders on; he/she sees nothing but the prize.

As she looked at all she collected Anne began to drop her acquisitiveness for each and every one collected. She began to select...Something that as I round my years up here I see I'm am doing more of it a natural thing in the second half of life? my question to ponder.

There's the word Select-one that is chosen in preference to others or because of special value. I looked that up just because I'm always trying to select the right thing to do or the better choices...what is the right thing or better choice for me...?

Eventually we select what is the better choice or most impressive specimen from our experience.

The collection Anne returns with is a select collection and she shares about how important space is with this select few.  She shares, "Even small and casual things take on significance if they are washed in space."

In life and in my can and is very important. Anne shares about her life, " I begin to realize, lacks this quality of significance and therefore of beauty, because there is so little empty space. The space is scribbled on; the time has been filled."  Few empty space on the calendar, few empty hours or empty room in her life in which to stand alone and find myself...and you get the picture....just too much.

When we get away and find some space for ourselves we are forced to have some natural selectivity. I had that experience up at Dillman's when I worked for the week.  I tended to my personal needs, and all that was most important and didn't have distractions and "went to work in a awesome studio space, which gave us all space to create and back to my little lodge room, it was the best."

Anne shares about the differences of the island life and the space that allows one the luxury of silence and time between verses the life of her home, children, appointments and engagements...some chores would be burdens at home when they feel so welcoming to the time away.

Reflecting and thinking about how she can bring some of the select moments back into her home life. Anne also realizes how we select our friends etc back home and on the island they are selected for us and how we can learn to understand them...that is a big step for most of us...being open and non-judgmental, going with the ebbs and flows.

As Anne comes to a conclusion, The multiplicity of the world will crowd in on me again with it's false sense of values. Values weighed in quantity, not quality; in speed, not stillness; in noise, not silence; in words, not in thoughts; in acquisitiveness, not beauty.

How shall we resist the onslaught?  How shall we remain whole against the strains and stresses of Zerrissenheit?   I had to look this word up...disunity, lack of unity, separateness; inner conflict.

Fence post here

Selecting on you own sense of values,
gather your signpost...

Choice, simplicity of living , as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life.
Balance the physical, intellectual and spiritual life.
Work with out pressure.
Space for significance and beauty.
Time for solitude and sharing.
Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the indeterminacy of life.
life of the spirit, creative life
and the life of human relationships.

....a few shells. 


  1. As I read this chapter, I was thinking: That will be me, next week, at the ocean--collecting every pretty shell or seaglass I see! But by the end of our vacation, I will have to cull it down, to fit in my suitcase!

    That idea of acquiring vs. collecting is an interesting one. There is a fine distinction there. I have a collection of shot glasses that I've had for years; when my brother traveled all over the country for business, he would buy me a shot glass at the airport. I have almost all 50 states. And where are these shot glasses? In a box, in the basement. It's an interesting collection, but it's an acquisition. Not practical (how often do I have a shot?!), not even all that attractive. I keep them because my brother wanted to give them to me.

    But I have a collection of photos that hang on the wall next to the staircase. These are carefully chosen, and never fail to carry me back to the moment or time when it was taken. Such fond memories they hold.

    Then there's the idea of SPACE. When I have just a few of something, there is space for them to be more unique, more special. The thought flashed through my mind: what if I went through the house and put away half the "things" that are out? How much more space would that allow in my life? (Then the second thought flashed: too much work! haha).

    Thank you for looking up that word--zerrissenheit! I didn't bother! But yes, how to maintain the inner calm? For me, I try to spend some time every day, just quietly sitting. Sometimes I watch the birds or listen to the rain. But just BEING is so important to me. It nourishes my soul, and if I've gone a couple of days without it, I really miss it. I think it allows myself to center again. And I don't even have much stress in my life! And yet it's still important to my well-being.

    Next week I will be AT the ocean! I am taking the book with me, and will read your post; I can't promise I will respond though perhaps I will. And I will be giving my daughter her copy.

    1. it amazes me how each time I read this something different catches my attention..I know it's because I'm in a different place mentally then I was the last's just surprise me the wisdom that still can be found. I've got to practice the "Just being" not a thing or behavior I'm use to.

  2. Hi there! I love your post, Marge...I have been (kind of) thinking the same way as I am getting ready for the painter to come and have been emptying everything into big boxes (nice new moving/storage boxes - one dollar-and-something at Home Depot) and wondering what I will put back when the rooms are all newly painted and clean. Most, I will just rearrange I guess. Love my chosen things and my stuff! But I do plan to pare down. Simplify! That's my "word of the year".


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