11 September 2007

Of Mitochondria, Tesseracts, and Nephilim

Madeleine L'Engle died last week, at age 88. I don't remember the first time I read "A Wrinkle in Time," probably because I've read it so many times. But I followed the adventures of Meg and Charles Murry through the "A Wind in the Door" and "A Swiftly Tilting Planet." I actually liked the latter two better than "Wrinkle." I didn't find "Many Waters" until I was older--it was an unexpected treasure.

As an adult, I've dipped into a few of Madeleine L'Engle's memoirs, and her book about writing is simply beautiful.

But hearing of her death reminded me of her Murry books. I identified with both Meg and Charles Wallace, feeling myself rather a misfit, not quite being able to figure out the social complexities of my peers. Quite apart from the intriguing mix of fantasy, science, and spirituality in the books' plots, the Wrinkle in Time books showed the younger me that not fitting in was survivable. Poor, misunderstood genius Charles Wallace had it much worse than me...and Meg grew from wild hair, braces, and spectacles into a beautiful, confident woman with a husband who adored her.

Plus, you know, between the two of them, they saved their father, each other, and the world. Pretty good for a couple of social outcasts.

I think I'll see if the library has the L'Engle books. I'd like to visit with the Murrys--and with Madeleine L'Engle--once again. If you haven't read L'Engle, I invite you to do the same.

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