Recently I obtained the book The Moment of Tenderness, a collection of Madeleine L’Engle’s stories. Somewhat chronologically arranged, they show L’Engle’s development as a writer who ultimately wrote 60 books including her classic A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine’s soul rises out of these stories that could be used as studies in psychology. In “The Birthday” we see little Madeleine’s confidence arising from knowing she is someone’s child. We glimpse her introversion in “The Mountains Shall Stand Forever.” Perhaps her moral development is seen in “Summer Camp.”
I have always felt a kinship with Madeleine L’Engle. In her book Walking on Water she writes “The writer does want to be published. . . . Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work had been still born. . . So there is no evading the fact that the artist yearns for ‘success,’ because that means that there has been a communication of the vision that all the struggle has not been invalid.” My writing will never make the best seller list, and I am not putting myself in the same category as the phenomenal Madeleine L’Engle. But I still have a sense that on some mystical level we are soul friends. We just haven’t met.