If you haven’t read any Anne Morrow Lingbergh; do- she was a lovely, lovely writer. We were fortunate to have heard a passage from Gifts From the Sea at a friend’s wedding and were thrilled to incorporate it into ours 9 wonderful years ago. At the time I loved the island imagery but still instinctually fought against the whole concept of letting go, letting be. I’m a nostalgic, sentimental creature by nature. My instinct is to hold on and hold on tight to that which I love. It is my life’s practice I suppose. I was unfamiliar with any Zen writings or concepts at the time we chose this for the wedding, how beautiful to see the Zen spirit in which she writes now. Any work that you can read and reread and glean something fresh is one to keep on your shelves- or is it one to let go…
Gifts from the Sea- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.