“Islands in a common sea” Anne Morrow Lindberg

“No man is an island,” John Donne famously pronounced. Not so, Lindberg respectfully disagreed (perhaps less famously). Lindberg believed that each of our isolation, as is the case with an island, is real. She, however, tempered her view by acknowledging the common elements that connect us. After more than three years of exploring islands and seas, real and metaphorical, we humbly favor Lindberg’s appraisal.

At times our physical isolation and separation from friends, family, and home raise questions about our connections. What remains of friendships left behind? Where is our home? To whom and what are we connected and by what ties?  In the end, are these connections even real?

At other times, however, our physical isolation concentrates our connectedness. Out of sight of land, under a full moon with dolphins riding our bow and coming astern to hear our voices, we feel magnificently connected, far beyond ourselves, hardly alone.

Three recent visits away from Elizabeth Jean remind us of the many things to which we are connected.

Over Thanksgiving weekend we joined Beth, Jean and Max (Jean’s fiance) at Max’s parents, Mary and Michael in Winston-Salem.  There we stitched together the first pieces of our extended family’s memory quilt.

In early December, we returned to our Northwest home and time with old and dear friends.  Within their embrace, we darned ourselves back into each other’s lives, leaving strong fabric where holes may have begun.

The window between Christmas and the New Year found us in Coronado (from where we departed the United States three years ago) celebrating the life of our good friends’ son tragically taken by the Oakland warehouse fire.  Amidst the grief have been countless examples of community’s healing touches and Nick’s strong and continued presence.  Most touching are his youthful friends’ commitments to bind Nick to their hearts, thoughts and deeds.

Perhaps our isolation is real; so too, most gratefully, are our connections.


The Bahamas: islands in their common sea.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on ““Islands in a common sea” Anne Morrow Lindberg

  1. Karin Davies

    And I remained tethered to you by your posts. Happy New Year!

  2. ellen6014

    This is beautiful Eric. You capture so perfectly with words what the eye cannot see – the connections of the heart and spirit are strong and completely unrelated to physical proximity. Islands remain physically connected to the earth below the sea. Humans are connected through the energetic realm of the universe. Sending you and Lal much love always.

  3. Elena

    Lovely, thank you.

  4. Beautifully written. As full time cruisers who have recentky returned to land, but not where we left from, we question where the connections are, how strong, how viable, how important. There are times we are pleasantly surprised by how many there are after five years away. As far as whether no man is an island or we are all islands, your friends’ grief over the loss of their son might hold the answers to this question. Grief is a cruel and horribly lonely place. And yet the support from community and loved ones, like you both, soothes the isolation and shines a beacon of light down the dark, dark halls.

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Your comments regarding grief’s particular challenges to us as individuals and communities is accurate and poignant. We look to Skylark for many lessons, including the reentry from the cruising life sometime down the road.

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