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Thoughts on Madeleine L’Engle

I read ahead in Walking on Water. In general, I really love this book. It’s written rather similarly to Gilead, which was probably the best fiction book I have read in college. Both Gilead and Walking on Water use rich vocabulary, intellectual lines of thinking, and repetitious references to grace. Because of these two books, grace might be my favorite Biblical concept.

On page 86 of Walking on Water (Convergent 2016 version), L’Engle says, “So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain.”

I need to find ways to keep my clock wound, as L’Engle suggests. I need to pray more, to write the visual prayers and not just the list prayers, to actually listen for what God’s voice might sound like. I need to write more, to not be scared of the blank page, to not get distracted as soon as I run out of ideas after a few paragraphs.

Discipline might be the biggest thing I work on this semester. I’m trying to get to bed at a consistent time. I’m trying to establish consistent writing habits through this blog. I’m trying to pay better attention in church. And yet, I’m working on spontaneity, too. I’m trying to not get so stuck in my routines that I never do anything but work. I’m trying to not eat the same sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. I’m trying to not avoid conversations with people that might disrupt my schedule.

It’s a paradox, and a tension, and it seems like that is what good writing, and maybe even a good life, is made of.


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