Friday, September 07, 2007

Meg Murray. The Girl Who Was Willing To Trust Her Own Intellect. What A Hero She Was To Me.

That ball that bounced out of rythym. The terrified mother who snatched the child inside. It may have been the very first time in my entire life that I felt understood. It kept me going for a v., v., v. long time. That's what good writers can do. They can toss a lifeline to the drowning and hold on tight. Madeline L'Engel did that for me.

Of a kindness, she named the witches in her story Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which. It was grace for me to find witches in her v. xian story. Her story was, for me (if your only tool is a hammer) a political tale about propaganda, the evil use of psychology, the value of the intellect and of not conforming, and the importance of the First Amendment. Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which (the one with whom I always most identified) simply fought that evil as if it were the most natural thing in the world for a woman to do. It was a lifeline and I grabbed ahold and never let loose.

Once, when I was in NY, I tried to find the church where Madeline L'Engle spent her declining years as a librarian. A huge yong NYC policeman told me, "You don't want to find her." Like the stormtroopers told that these were not the droids they were looking for, I grabbed the first ex Mr. Hecate and ran away. Now, I'm sorry that I never met Ms. L'Engle, never told her how she saved my life. Her stories about running a country store in New England, about the value of piano practice, about the need to keep a daily journal, Crosswicks, canning, children, Europe, music -- they meant so much to me.


Sharon said...

I, too, regret never having met her. She made occasional appearances in my area (southern CT) for Episcopal Church events and even, I believe, once or twice at Rowe Camp ( She will live on in the hearts of all 11 year old girls (and boys) who read A Wrinkle in Time. May the Goddess guard her.

mama kelly said...

I was so saddened to read of her death. A Wrinkle in Time was one of those first books for me as well which touched something deeper in me .... the part of me that was unlike my peers ... and for that I will always be grateful to her.

Mama Kelly

Aquila ka Hecate said...

One of my favourite stories of all time,too.
Maybe even if first place.

Terri in Joburg

Livia said...

I will also miss her. As I wrote on my blog she was the first eye-opening author for me. She made me want to read. And I see that I'm not the only one who thinks of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit as witches! Meg Murray was one of my heroes too, she still is as a matter of fact.

Auntie Meme said...

For me, it was the comfort of tentacled, furry Aunt Beast. My vivid imagination allowed me to escape the harsh realities I was dealing with and curl up mentally, safe and warm, in Her embrace.