Friday, January 31, 2014

A Circle of Quiet

I'm a voracious reader. Always have been, and hopefully, always will be.

Even though I'm consistently reading at least one book (if not two or three), I rarely write about what I'm reading here on my blog.

This year, I want to get in the habit of sharing books I love, and this book is definitely worth mentioning.

Madeleine L'Engle, best known for writing A Wrinkle in Time, penned this gem of a memoir, A Circle of Quiet, back in 1972.

Forty-two years have passed, and yet I think L'Engle's thoughts and experiences are just as relevant today as I imagine they were back then.

It's the kind of book where I read a sentence or paragraph, and then stop and re-read it again because the words really resonate with me.  

That's so profound, I think.

Or Man, she nailed it! What a beautiful and articulate way to say that.

If I'm lying down in bed, I get up to grab the yellow highlighter off the top of our dresser. (We don't leave any pens down low for fear that our 2-year-old will get a hold of them. Smile.)

I run the highlighter across words like these...

"I don't know what I'm like.  I get glimpses of myself in other people's eyes. I try to be careful whom I use as a mirror: my husband; my children; the friends of my right hand."

And these, in the following paragraph...

"But we aren't always careful of our mirrors. I'm not. I made the mistake of thinking that I "ought" not to write because I wasn't making money, and therefore in the eyes of many people around me I had no business to spend hours every day at the typewriter. I felt a failure not only because my books weren't being published but because I couldn't emulate our neighboring New England housewives. I was looking in the wrong mirrors. I still do, and far too often." 

As a wife and mother and writer, I could completely relate to these passages (and many others).

It felt like I was sitting down, having a conversation with a wise woman--someone who is older than me and can clearly articulate the challenges and joys of marriage, motherhood, friendship, and writing.

Unlike other books I've read recently, I'm not in a rush to finish this one.  I've been reading about ten minutes or so each night right before bed, highlighting sections, rereading them, and just really letting them sink in. 

There are three more books in the Crosswicks Journal series (woohoo!), and I'm planning to look for them at our local library. 

Have you read any books lately that had a profound effect on you? That had you nodding your head, Yes, yes, that's it!  That had you highlighting line after line like you did back in college?

Tell me! I'm always looking for the next good read.

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