Friday, August 1, 2014

Gift From The Sea; Eleventh Reading

I think that Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book Gift From the Sea has influenced me more than any other. It's the only book that I've read so many times; eleven to be exact! With each reading I find new tidbits of wisdom or some part of her life which I can relate to mine at this moment. This is what makes it so timeless.

This present reading, I enjoyed her description of a perfect beach day (spent with her sister) which she will take home with her and try to imitate in her everyday life. "One perfect day can give clues for a more perfect life." Her day went like this: A morning swim in the sea followed by breakfast on the back porch. A few morning chores then the rest of the morning is spent in writing. Lunch and chores and errands are followed by an afternoon on the beach letting thoughts run where they will. At dusk, she returns to the cottage and sips sherry before the open fire. Supper and talk while washing up the dishes and a last walk on the beach before retiring finish out the night.

This is the daily rhythm Anne prefers: Morning is for mental work, afternoon is for physical tasks and out-of-door jobs, and evening is for sharing. I like this daily order myself. One thing I need to change to line up more with this ideal is to do less work after breakfast. I get started on cleaning right after breakfast, and before I know it it's 10:30 with the most mentally productive part of the morning eaten up by physical work. Then I'm too tired to do much deep thinking, so this will be a goal of mine this school year.

And as I find it hard to sit down and write or blog with a dirty house, I'll try and do a tidy-up at night before bed so most of that work will be done then and not in the morning.

I've read quite a few books about artists and their habits. Many of them choose Anne's pattern of work. Some go back in the afternoon for another long writing session. These are men who have wives to do the housework, so they don't have to bother with domestic tasks too much, or else they can write in the midst of chaos.

What patterns of work have you readers established for yourselves? I'm especially interested in writers/artists and your schedules. What works best for you? I'd love to hear!


Rootietoot said...

I like to get all the work done early in the week because if I try to sit down and write, or sew, or whichever, and there's tasks yelling, it's too distracting. Gardening in the morning is necessary in the Summer, but it's not exhausting. Generally, the work gets done Monday and Tuesday, leaving the rest of the week mostly free for creative stuff. I have never really had a daily type schedule, except when the kids were very small. Now that they're mostly grown, being able to set aside a couple of entire days for the creative stuff allows larger blocks of time to do it.
-Peggy Dodd

M.K. said...

I recall that portion of the book, and I remember enjoying it so much. Her perfect day seems to work beautifully for her and for her mode of thinking and working. Of course, people are so different from each other. Personally, I cannot do the physical, harder labor in the afternoon, esp. in the summer. It's too hot. Much of the world take a total break in the afternoon, which would be my preference. I can do mental work in the morning -- late morning. Nothing in the morning really. I'm a night person, and would prefer to do a lot of relational and mental work in the evening. Different strokes!

M.K. said...

Oh - yes, you mentioned writing/artistic work. When I do art (like painting) I prefer morning. But when I'm writing, I prefer evening. I can knit anytime.

Gumbo Lily said...

I don't really have a good routine these days. I like to work hard all day and take an afternoon (3-ish) coffee or iced tea break and then go back at it so by evening I'm at rest and fall into bed tired. I love to sew and create and I really ought to cut out more time for that. Summer is for outside tho.

Vintage Reading said...

I'm a reader not a writer but when I'm completely engrossed in a book I can leave everything, the housework, the laundry, even mealtimes and I stay up really late to finish. That's the beauty of a surrendered read, you give yourself over to it completely. Nice post!