Miss Clark's Reviews > A Circle of Quiet

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle
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's review
Apr 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: biography-letters, philosophy-pensive-and-ponderous

** spoiler alert ** "When will we be able to redeem our shock words? They have been turned to marshmallows. They need violence done to them again; they need to be wrested from banality;saved for the crucial moment. We no longer have anything to cry in time of crisis. We have blunted them so with overuse that they no longer have any real meaning for us."

"Agape: charity; forgiving love which never excludes. Edward Nason West defines it as "A profound concern for the welfare of another without any desire to control that other, to be thanked by that other or to enjoy the process."

"We have forgotten how to touch each other, and we try desperately to do it in wrong, impossible ways which push us further and further apart. Sometimes when Hugh and I are in a large group I need to touch him; the only way this touch can be realized is if it is tiny and unobtrusive; if I put my arms around him in the middle of a cocktail party we wouldn't touch at all. But if I stand by him and let my finger brush momentarily against his, we meet; we are together. Too many of us have forgotten that this tiny gesture, this potent flame, can be as powerful an act of love as any other. We impoverish our lives when we limit our expressions of love. Alan once said, impatiently, 'Why are people so hung up on genitalia?'"

This is about Madeleine's refuge, her circle of quiet, at their country home, Crosswicks and ranges from her views on literacy and education to democracy, Madison ave., etc. Well worth a read.

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