by Robert Lewis Reid, 1862 – 1929
American Impressionist painter and muralist
"I was the youngest, shiest, most self-conscious adolescent
that -- I believe -- ever lived. In addition, I have to confess
that my adolescence lasted a phenomenally long time.
Dare I say I have outgrown that period even now?
"But if one eliminates adolescence from life and records,
how much is suppressed: youth, hope, dreams, impractical ideals,
falling in love with 'countless not impossible He's,'
gaiety that spurts up for no reason,
despair that is gone the next morning,
and a foretaste of the inevitable tragedies of life along with
one's early confused attempts to understand or meet them. . . .
"Besides, I have a certain respect
for the early efforts of this struggling adolescent,
who now seems so many lives removed from the self of today.
I can laugh at her and am often embarrassed by her,
but I do not want to betray her.
Let her speak for herself."
from the 1972 introduction to
Bring Me a Unicorn:
Diaries & Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh 1922 - 1928
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906 - 2001
Should you care to devote the remainder of your summer to reading some great girl narratives, check out my latest book blog for a list of novels that honor the "struggling adolescent," whom Anne Morrow Lindbergh so eloquently urges us to respect, featuring girls who are filled with a "gaiety that spurts up for no reason," a "despair that is gone the next morning, and a foretaste of the inevitable tragedies of life along with one's early confused attempts to understand or meet them."