Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeline L'Engle

“Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith—faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.” Madeline L’Engle

She was the first person who told me I could write or maybe she wasn’t the first, maybe she was the only writer I had ever met and at seventeen she looked me straight in the eye, and said you will be a writer.

And I believed. Simply and foolishly that I could always DO THAT—it would never be something I had to work on. It was like speaking French, another tongue and it was always a trade I could fall back on.

I was right and I was wrong and so was she, now she has died which I knew she would soon b/c I had gotten an email saying she had Alzheimer. I knew that she would never sell her movie rights to Disney unless someone was making those decisions for her.

I had lunch with her two weeks after her husband died. I will never forget the way her voice tilted when she talked about how she missed him, how he was not there to call, to say she had made it to Maine safely. I blame her and my grandparents, my parents never had it, the need for that love, one which is everything, ties into your DNA and becomes part of your very existence.

I have hungered for it my whole life.

Somewhere in the sunroom I have a journal with a piece of paper taped to the cover---you are writer. Madeline wrote it down for me b/c she thought I might forget. I also have my writing from that day, how it felt meeting her and how I thought her voice should sound like mine. I need to dig it out. I think I might need to remember my young arrogant self.

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Charles said...

I loved her work, and this was beautifully stated.

early hours of sky said...

How are you my friend? I miss you.

Lyle Daggett said...

When I was young (11 years old) my mom read A Wrinkle in Time out loud to my sister and me. A chapter or two a day until the book was finished. I still remember the dread and wonder of that story, the astonishing concepts, tesseracts and bending space-time. Sad to hear that she's gone.

LKD said...

When I read A Wrinkle in Time during maybe the worst years of my life (adolescence), I felt like I was holding a friend in my hands.

I think the single greatest gift any human being can give another, other than unconditional love, is belief, fierce, unwavering belief in another's talent.

I had a college prof in my English 10001 class who believed in me and my writing ability and said something to me at the end of the semester, said it to my face, that I've always held very close. I've never told anyone what he said, and never will, but it made me believe in myself.

It made me believe in my possible self as a writer.

Thank you for reminding me of that moment. Thank you for reminding me of his belief in me.

I'm sorry for your loss, T.

early hours of sky said...

Lyle, yes it is an amazing book though I like ring of endless light more

and Laurel, I'm glad this reminded you of that voice. It is important to remember those things.