“When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, American novelist and teacher, 1918-2007)
(painting: pastel on sandpaper, by Leslie)
“Playing the piano is for me a way of getting unstuck, if I’m stuck in life or in what I’m writing. What it does is break the barrier that comes between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind wants to take over and refuses to let the subconscious mind work, the intuition. So if I can play the piano, that will break the block, and my intuition will be free to give things up to my mind, my intellect.”
Madeleine L’Engle, American novelist (1918-2007)
(Painting “Plum Lovely” by Christine Keim Vandeberg)
“The stories I cared about, the stories I read and reread, were usually stories which dared to disturb the universe, which asked questions rather than gave answers.
I turned to story, then, as now, looking for truth, for it is in story that we find glimpses of meaning, rather than in textbooks. But how apologetic many adults are when they are caught reading a book of fiction! They tend to hide it and tell you about the “How-To” book which is what they are really reading. Fortunately, nobody ever told me that stories were untrue, or should be outgrown, and then as now they nourished me and kept me willing to ask the unanswerable questions.”
— Madeleine L’Engle, 1983 lecture to Library of Congress, later published as “Dare to Be Creative”
(moose painting, dye on silk, by Nancy Cawdrey)
“My writing knows more than I do. What a writer must do is listen to her book. It might take you where you don’t expect to go. That’s what happens when you write stories. You listen and you say “aha,” and you write it down. A lot of it is not planned, not conscious, it happens while you are doing it. You know more about if after you’re done.”
Another goddess. I reread A Wrinkle in Time last year and was as enchanted as when I was twelve — maybe even more.