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Madeleine L'Engle quotes (showing 1-30 of 522)

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.”
Madeleine L'Engle
tags: pain
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Ring of Endless Light
“Just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Believing takes practice.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings
“We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings
“The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.”
Madeleine L'Engle
tags: age
“I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.”
Madeleine L'Engle
tags: god
“Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Don't try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wind in the Door
“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe - these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.”
Madeleine L'Engle, Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage
“Hate hurts the hater more'n the hated.”
Madeleine L'Engle
tags: hate
“I do not know everything; still many things I understand.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
“The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings
“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“In my dreams, I never have an age.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“I love, therefore I am vulnerable.”
Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.”
Madeleine L'Engle
tags: work
“At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness:
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness!”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet
“I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.”
Madeleine L'Engle

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