Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wanting to belong, wanting no attachments

Sometimes I want to belong, to be part of vibrant communities. At other times, I want to have no attachments whatsoever, to be free to keep moving. I am often conflicted about harboring these seemingly mutually incompatible desires simultaneously. Which is why I find the following passage by Anne Lindbergh reassuring:
"Perhaps a first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions. But how? Total retirement is not possible, I cannot shed my responsibilities. I cannot permanently inhabit a desert island. I cannot be a nun in the midst of family life. I would not want to be. The solution for me, surely, is neither in total renunciation of the world, nor in total acceptance of it. I must find a balance somewhere, or an alternating rhythm between these two extremes; a swinging of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between retreat and return. In my periods of retreat, perhaps I can learn something to carry back into my worldly life."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

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