Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lindbergh: Channeled Whelk

I continue on to chapter two of Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The chapter is entitled “Channeled Whelk.”

She writes from the perspective of a woman in the 1950s and how her life is a series of distractions — spouse, children, housekeeping, cooking, doctor appointments, school conferences, car-pooling, laundry, cleaning, social obligations, etc.

Today our lives are all that and more with the distractions of the Internet, Facebook, blogs,  national and international news, e-mail, jobs and lack of jobs, television 24/7, all info all the time.

The quest for balance and simplification was strong in the 1950s, a thousand percent greater today.

She gazes at the simplicity of a channeled whelk, a seashell, a perfect and simple and beautiful home for first a snail and then a hermit crab. Now empty, but perfect, it inspires her to pare her life down somewhat, to see what she can do without, rather than accumulating more.

As I read her words, I wonder. Is the “accumulation syndrome” something we all have when younger but which then becomes the “simplify mantra” as we age? Have we seen so much, absorbed so much, experienced so much that we’re “full,” and the concept of simplification and balance is thus so appealing now that we’re older? Perhaps (and hopefully) wiser?

I’d ponder this a bit more, but I’ve got to check Facebook, read my latest e-mails, watch a basketball game, critique some photos, check out Pinterest, help fix dinner, create a photomontage, upload a few pictures to Flickr, and then maybe figure out how to simplify my life . . .

©Carol Leigh