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.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."