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Gift from the Sea > Question 1

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message 1: by Carol (last edited Aug 31, 2013 10:49AM) (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 640 comments Mod
Howdy all. This has been quite a fascinating book for me to read and process. I have had it for many years, just haven't read it. I had no preconceived notions as to what this book would be about, and upon reading it was completely surprised as to the content. I figured that with all the busy schedules a small book with only 130 pages would be one we should be able to complete rather than the 500-600 page volumes we have read of late. I was not disappointed, was able to finish in a couple hours.

Question 1. As you were reading, what were your two favorite shells and why?


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie | 168 comments Hey carol! Will be done soon and look forward to chiming in!


message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 251 comments Carol: I'm so glad you selected this. I had never heard of it, and mostly decided to read it because (1) it was short and (2) it fit easily into my purse.

What a delightful little book. It is a quick read, but it's one of those reads I want to go back and read in a few years and reflect on it again.

I'm not sure I could pick a particular favorite, although I did enjoy the chapter on solitude, mostly because, since the book was in my purse, I was pulling it out and reading it when out in public.


message 4: by Carol (last edited Sep 04, 2013 04:26PM) (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 640 comments Mod
My two favorite shells were the double sunrise, and the channelled whelk.

The channelled whelk became important for a few reasons. She mentions hermit crabs, and how these shells are shed for a larger one that fits them. I have hermit crabs of my own. They are a fascinating creature. At one time I had five of them, but with time I'm gradually losing them and am down to one. They are nocturnal, so sometimes their cage is really noisy at night and they have been known to fight with each other.

Lindbergh says: I mean to lead a simple life, to choose a simple shell I can carry easily--like a hermit crab. But I do not. I find that my frame of life does not foster simplicity. My husband and five children must make their way in the world. The life I have chosen as wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications. It involves a house in the suburbs and either household drudgery or household help which wavers between scarcity and non-existence for most of us. It involves food and shelter; meals, planning, marketing, bills, and making the ends meet in a thousand ways.

She goes on to talk about other aspects our lives have and how it involves work, family, etc. A lot like our lives when our families were younger.

Double Sunrise: "It is unusual, yet it was given to me freely. People are like that here. Strangers smile at you on the beach, come up and offer you a shell, for no reason, lightly, and then go by and leave you alone again. Nothing is demanded of you in payment, no social rite expected, no tie established. It was a gift, freely offered, freely taken, in mutual trust. People smile at you here, like children, sure that you will not rebuff them, that you will smile back. And you do, because you know it will involve nothing. The smile, the act, the relationship is hung in space, in the immediacy and purity of the present; suspended on the still of here and now; balanced there on a shaft of air, like a seagull."


message 5: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 251 comments I liked the double sunrise as well, and how she extended it into a newlywed metaphor.


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