Write it, sister

Against Wind and Tide: Letters and Journals, 1947-1986 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The letters and journals of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I think they’re probably supposed to be savored, slowly.
Me? I gulp them down.
And I’ve been waiting to devour this volume (which I actually thought would never appear) for some years now. Decades, actually.
So, yeah. You’ve heard about Charles Lindbergh’s other family?
That woman and those children in Germany?
Well, when that news broke, I was all, “So that’s why Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s later diaries and letters were never published.”
Wrong. I was wrong.
Here they are, some years after her death. And there’s no mention of the other woman (other women, I think it might have been), but it’s clear—she says it: Often she did not know where in the world (literally!) her husband was. Or when he’d be home. But still, they stayed married. It’s interesting.
But really, the central figure in this volume, more than ever, is Anne herself. She continues to face the dilemma of woman-as-artist, with the demands of family life pulling her away from her writing. And then, in her empty nest years, finding that so much solitude also isn’t the answer.
It was a bit heartbreaking, this book.
One of the lovely things, though, is that many of the letters are written to her adult children, and these letters are quite fascinating because they give the reader a sense of the mother-child relationship.
There’s also a wonderful domesticity in this volume, which I recall from some of the earlier books, too. When the Lindberghs weren’t traveling the world, Anne seems to have reveled in the comforts of home.
She also is one of the all-time best chroniclers of introversion.
This isn’t a jolly thing to read, but it possesses a richness, not only in language, but also in wisdom.

2 thoughts on “Write it, sister

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