Remembering Great Writers and Good People

The day I found out that Madeleine L’Engle died, I cried.  I had recently read her journal A Circle of Quiet and felt like I knew her.  Recently I picked up the second journal in this four part series, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, and cried at the ending.  In part because of what was written on the page but in truth because L’Engle hasn’t left us–she is still here:  in kind words and warm wisdom.  Life is precarious and she’s found a way to answer her own question:  “how many people live lives of joy and love and are never remembered?”  In this case, L’Engle will be remembered by millions who have loved her books.  Perhaps great writers have a means of reaching immortality more fully than anyone else.  The emphasis is on great here–how many mediocre writers are remembered?  But writers like L’Engle who capture the human emotion so vividly do live on past their human bodies.  And she was here with me today as I listened to her describe the rapid descent of her mother into senility and then death.  A death received with joy because it represented the release of suffering and an emergence into other.

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