A Ring of Endless Light
Madeleine L’Engle has passed away. Thursday, many of you may already have heard. I got my news from CNN Saturday, and her death was only a subtitle under the Entertainment heading, so I caught it by accident. When clicked on, the subtitle led to a 100 words or so that conveyed her death and mentioned A Wrinkle in Time.
Pavarotti’s funeral was the main story of the day, and I thought it fitting that a man who gave so much beauty to so many should be remembered and noticed in his passing.
But I also thought: Madeleine L’Engle. Madeleine L’Engle!!! Don’t the people who decide the top stories at CNN realize how important she was?
My entire reading history, and therefore my life, is richer and more vivid because of her books. I have often thought that no books seize you as an adult and charge your imagination quite the way the books you read as a child and teenager do. For me this means Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Sally Watson, Robin McKinley can still bring me intense pleasure even today just by seeing their names, much less picking up one of my old copies of their books. I see the cover of A Swiftly Tilting Planet and suddenly anything and everything is possible. I carry whole worlds inside of me, to waken at a word or the mention of a name, because of those authors.
Madeleine L’Engle. I feel as if Time should be doing a retrospective, that’s how vivid her touch on my life was.
Her elegant, graceful thought, her creative, vivid writing. Its “peculiar splendor”, as Marygail Parker described it so perfectly.
She lived a rich, long, good life, and that’s an amazing thing to do. So we’ll miss her, and I thank her for leaving her books behind.
Here’s a door for her. I don’t know what’s behind it, but it looks like a beautiful door to go through.
What, nephew, was the wind in that door? (Malory)
Is the wind in that door still? (Eliot)