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L is for L’Engle #AtoZChallenge

L I fell in love with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid. Up until then I read mostly historical fiction (Thank you, American Girls books . . .) and Nancy Drew. The idea of interplanetary travel was new and I didn’t so much read as inhaled the series.

Madeleine_L'EngleI didn’t pick up L’Engle’s work again until my senior year in high school, when I read Walking on Water on a sweaty stank-tomb of a bus on my way back from Mexico.

You know when you sink into a hot tub on a frigid winter night? At first your entire body screams H*** NO!! But then the pain subsides and your muscles relax like ice cream melting on hot concrete during a Californian 4th of July. It’s a giant hug from the tub.

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

This quote is often attributed to Galileo but is actually the last two lines from Sarah Williams‘ poem “The Old Astronomer.” You can read the whole thing here if you want.

To me, the lines mean we don’t need to be afraid of the dark times in life.

The following is from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle:

“Milton could have retreated into passive blindness and self-pity instead of trying the patience of his three dutiful daughters and any visiting friend by insisting that they write down what he dictated. Beethoven could have remained in the gloom of silence instead of forging the glorious sounds which he could never hear except in his artist’s imagination. Sometimes the very impetus of overcoming obstacles results in a surge of creativity.”

If Milton remained afraid of of his blindness and never faced it, we wouldn’t have Paradise Lost. If Beethoven cowered in response to his deafness, we wouldn’t have Symphony No. 9 in D minor. Instead, they embraced the stars so fierce night no longer had a hold on them.

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