It has been a while since I have posted anything to this blog...long enough that I've had inquiries from several friends about my health! But I'm fine, have just been busy, and on the road a bit.
The death of Madeliene L'Engle recently was a loss to the world of literature. I was asked by a magazine editor to make a brief statement about it and sent the following:
I never knew Madeleine L'Engle personally. But I felt as if I did. Her books, especially "A Wrinkle in Time," had been an important part of the lives of my children when they were young. Then I entered the same field in which she was already such a towering figure, and though our paths never crossed in person, I felt her presence there in our shared world of literature.
A few years ago, I read that she had lost her son. Because it was something I had experienced, the loss of a son, I wrote her a letter. Both of us had shared many stories with the world, but this was a personal and private loss, and one that we shared with each other. When she replied, she concluded her letter with the word "Blessings."
I thought of that when I heard that she had died. What better farewell is there? Blessings to you, Madeleine L'Engle.
I'm sorry that we never met. My favorites of her work were what came to be called the Crosswicks Journals. I love glimpses into other people's lives, even selective glimpses as they inevitably are. I like knowing the color of the talecloth, the kind of soup simmering on the stove, what flowers are in a vase. For the same reason I loved May Sarton's journals. Maybe today blogs take the place of journals or are simply the same thing renamed.
I have just returned from a few days in New York: wonderful weather there and here as well, the early fall sunshine and blue skies. I stayed in an inconveniently located hotel this time but New York is such a great city to walk in, when the weather is good, that I didn't mind. And during my busy stay I actually had a chunk of maybe three free hours which enabled me to go to my favorite place...the Lincoln Center Cinema...and grab a quick movie, though the timing decided my choice and it was not a choice I would have made otherwise. "Two Days in Paris." It felt to me like two months or two years. I yawned my way through it, wanting to yell, "Get a life!" to the characters.
Next week I go overnight to Tampa to seak to a group of teachers about writing, so that is somethng I will work on in the next few days. I seem to spend a great deal of time writing speeches—and another chunk of time worrying that I have absolutely nothing left to say.
The Boston Globe told a couple of days ago of the death of an African Grey Parrot named Alex which had been deemed one of the smartest parrots known. My brother has an African Gray Parrot and it is clear from the conversations that my brother describes with Remington that the bird does not just mimic sounds but grasps concepts and makes appropriate responses, sometimes quite funny ones.
Alex, the bird who just died suddenly, was 31; the paper says that such a parot can live to 60. I already worry that my dog's life expectancy is about the same as mine, and which one of us will go first, and what then happens to the other?! But 60? And a bird? How do you write that into your will? "To my beloved niece, I leave my African Grey Parrot which can imitate a cell phone and a chainsaw as well as Pavarotti, and who gets very irritated if his dinner is late..."
I've just been notified that the Korean rights to my not-yet-published book "The Willoughbys" have been sold. My dry-cleaning lady will be pleased; I always give her copies of my books in Korean, for her extended family. It doesn't get me a discount on dry cleaning but it does guarantee a cheerful "good morning."