Yesterday in NYC there was a memorial service for Madeleine L’Engle. She is my writing hero. In honor of her I am going to post here a few quotes from her book, “Walking On Water”, the most incredible book I have ever read on art and writing.
From pg. 18, Walking on Water: Obedience is an unpopular word nowadays, but the artist must be obedient to the work, whether it be a symphony, a painting, or a story for a small child. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, “Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.” And the artist either becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.
From pg. 55 “Walking on Water”: An aritist at work is in a condition of complete and total faith.
From pg. 60: I have to try but that doesn’t mean I have to succeed. Following Christ has nothing to do with success as the world sees success. It has to do with love.
From pg. 67: I am grateful that I started writing at such an early age, before I realized what a daring thing it is to do…We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are…
From pg. 70: The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.
From pg. 89: But unless we are creators, we are not fully alive.
From pg. 105: Despite our inability to control circumstances, we are given the gift of being free to respond to them in our own way, creatively or destructively.
From pg. 118: If I have to believe all this limiting of God, then I cannot be a Christian.
From pg. 151: I have a point of view. You have a point of view. But God has VIEW.
From pg. 176: The refusal to love is the only unbearable thing.
And from pg. 193: Art is an affirmation of life, a rebuttal of death.
We miss you, Madeleine.