Susan's Thursday morning note June 28, 2007 Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries & Letters of Anne Lindberg 1929-1932
Good morning out there!!! I am on my second cup of coffee and at the frustrated point in my note to you of wanting so much to share with you about Anne Lindberg (from last week), but not even knowing where to start!! It amazes me how in one moment I can purchase a book, then absolutely connect with the writer. One “nirvana” for me is to realize I’m loving a book, then go to the front of the book where other writings are listed by the author – and to see a long list. Oh, that is heaven! To know that when the book I’m on is finished – I am just beginning to tap the surface!! After writing last week on Gift from the Sea I ordered all else I could get by Anne Lindberg. I am engrossed in her letters and diaries. There are five volumes. I have found my gift for this summer!!! Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries & Letters 1929-1932.
For me to find an author that I so connect with is one of the priceless moments of loving to read. Like realizing all of a sudden that you have made a dear friend. The process isn’t thought out, just suddenly, you suddenly realize, “Oh, my goodness – I can’t believe how much I love this person!!!” I realize that I had my own thoughts, yet the thoughts had only been at the point of being spun in my head, but not yet solidified into an actual thought. When I read her entries, I could exclaim to myself, “Oh, yes!!! That’s exactly what I think! – yet I had never actually thought through to think it yet!” (It’s early! I hope that kind of made sense!!)
I cannot wait to read her thoughts over years of her life. The fact that she wrote a book on the preciousness of taking care of yourself, solitude in your mind, time for reflection and thought (Gift from the Sea) that affected me 67 years later – when I didn’t even realize that SHE was the mother of the tragic kidnapping/murder of her toddler. I cannot wait to read her letters to her mother, sister, mother-in-law, and Charles over the course of her life. To observe from the outside her way, regardless of what life brings her, she processed, thought through, and matured as one of the women that will go down as having a large influence on my personal life a decade later (her letters right now are 1929).
She is at the “gold” time of her life – her flights, her love of the air, her love of her family (small baby), her love of reading. She describes a woman she is visiting as “a kind of hostess to herself…self-contained…in the fullest sense…Enough fullness of life in her family, friends, books, collecting lovely things for her house, etc., to be contained in them…” – I love that thought – a hostess to herself!! Anne spent so much time in observance of others, in reading, in laughter. She is funny. Here is a line from her breakfast time that is fun to read. “The sun shone through the marmalade so nicely this morning – I’m sure that’s why breakfast is such a nice meal. You see, you haven’t had sunshine for twelve hours and so you are extra glad to see it and to eat sunshiny things like golden toast and cornflakes and marmalade – that is, I am because I like those things... (She was always writing that she bought another mismatched bowl – for she absolutely loved cereal…she is just fun to read!)
I loved this from her introduction to the letters of the “gold” time in her life. In rereading the letters I am aware of hurrying through them (or life itself hurrying). They seem unreal . It is as if, in looking at my life, I were watching a swift-flowing stream, satin smooth on the surface, rushing headlong to the sheer drop of tragedy. Significantly, the letter that stands out most vividly at the end of that summer of letters, is the one after my father’s death… In replying, I let myself write from the depths of feeling. The hand of grief released me from the hand of the censor. There were other values, I was beginning to learn, more important that discretion or even privacy. As I discovered the following spring, in the abyss of tragedy, I needed to return to a deeper resource. I had to write honestly. So one can say perhaps that sorrow also played its part in setting me free. But that is a different story. The first part of this book and this introduction cover the hour of gold.
Another few lines I liked…I miss the sea. Sea lonliness. The loneliness you get by the sea is alive. It doesn’t subdue you and make you feel abject. It’s a stimulating lonliness. (I LOVE that line!!! – like the silence in a corn field for us?)
Oh – how do I choose which parts I underlined? You all just have to get engrossed in these letters!!! She was writing her mother-in-law after an airliner crash, giving her an insight into Charles’ flying abilities to assure her of their safety.
1. That he does know when to turn back. He does not rely on weather reports but uses his own judgment about what weather he can go through. He looks at it and knows. No one can be perfect, but he is very, very good and doesn’t take that kind of chance if he isn’t sure.
2. He is one of those rare people who do their best in an emergency, instead of their worst, the way most people do.
I wrote in the margin after reading those abilities in flight… “Life, too – Can I say this about me in “weather” and unforseen events in my own personal ‘life’?” I want to face what comes to me and show my best side. I want to be rare! I want to love life – I want to feel. To read Anne Lindberg gives me emotion. Gives me laughter. Gives me tears. Anyone that can bring feelings to my life – I cherish their friendship whether in real life or in books! I hope that this note isn’t too long. I just look forward to reading more of her life – you will all, obviously, be going through it with me! Now, go drink your coffee, listen to our birds singing for us, and know – we have to keep feeling, to keep breathing. If you’re in your “Hour of Gold” – ENJOY! If you’re in your “Hour of Lead” – keep breathing. Never think you won’t feel again. You will. Just start with listening to the birds. They sing for you. Go take on your day! And thank you thank you thank you for your encouragement and business! You know how much you mean to our store & my life! Susan