Madeleine L'Engle · 256 pages
Rating: (5.2K votes)
“I love, therefore I am vulnerable.”
“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own.”
“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”
“We don't want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don't want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.”
“We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men.
Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”
“Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”
“The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver. In a very real sense the artist (male or female) should be like Mary who, when the angel told her that she was to bear the Messiah, was obedient to the command.
...I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, "Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me." And the artist either says, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," and willingly becomes the bearer of teh work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.
As for Mary, she was little more than a child when the angel came to her; she had not lost her child's creative acceptance of the realities moving on the other side of the everyday world. We lose our ability to see angels as we grow older, and that is a tragic loss.”
“When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens.”
“Our story is never written in isolation. We do not act in a one-man play. We can do nothing that does not affect other people, no matter how loudly we say, "It's my own business.”
“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.”
“As Emmanuel, Cardinal Suhard says, "To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.”
“We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift.”
“The journey homewards. Coming home. That's what it's all about. The journey to the coming of the Kingdom. That's probably the chief difference between the Christian and the secular artist--the purpose of the work, be it story or music or painting, is to further the coming of the kingdom, to make us aware of our status as children of God, and to turn our feet toward home.”
“Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses behind all art; to give a name to the cosmos, we see despite all the chaos.”
“When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.”
“If our lives are truly "hid with Christ in God," the astounding thing is that this hiddenness is revealed in all that we do and say and write. What we are is going to be visible in our art, no matter how secular (on the surface) the subject may be.”
“George MacDonald gives me renewed strength during times of trouble--times when I have seen people tempted to deny God--when he says, "The Son of God suffered unto death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like his.”
“Jesus was not a theologian. He was God who told stories.”
“Aeschylus writes, "In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grade of God.”
“For that moment, at least, all our doors and windows were wide open; we were not carefully shutting out God's purifying light, in order to feel safe and secure; we were bathed in the same light that burned and yet did not consume the bush. We walked barefoot on holy ground.”
“The prayer of words cannot be eliminated. And I must pray them daily, whether I feel like praying or not. Otherwise, when God as something to say to me, I will not know how to listen. Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way.”
“but BEing time is never wasted time. When we are BEing, not only are we collaborating with chronological time, but we are touching on kairos, and are freed from the normal restrictions of time.”
“I was at the annual meeting of a state library association a few years later, when the children were in the process of leaving the nest, and one of the librarians asked me, "What do you think you and Hugh have done which was the best for your children?"
I answered immediately and without thinking, "We love each other.”
“Holiness ... is nothing we can *do* ... It is gift, sheer gift, waiting there to be recognized and received. We do not have to be qualified to be holy. We do not have to be qualified to be whole, or healed.Made”
“If we are to be aware of life while we are living it, we must have the courage to relinquish our hard-earned control of ourselves.”
“In art, either as creators or participators, we are helped to remember some of the glorious things we have forgotten, and some of the terrible things we were asked to endure...”
“Reading about the response of people in stories, plays, poems, helps us to respond more courageously and openly at our own moments of turning.”
“If the work comes to the artist and says, 'Here I am, serve me,' then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amount of the artist's talent is not what it is about. Jean Rhys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review, 'Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don't matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake'.”
“Creativity is a way of living life, no matter what our vocation, or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts...”
“I love you," Gavin whispered, slowly breaking the kiss. Still cupping her cheeks, he dipped his head and leaned his forehead against hers. "I want to break the rules with you. Kiss you passionately every day. Make you smile when you're about to cry. I want no regrets with us. I want us to laugh together until we can't breathe and it hurts. No man will ever love you the way I'm going to love you, Emily. You're it. My last. My forever/”
“I choose to be the person that i want to be”
“Remind me not to piss you off Red. You might aim for the heart and shoot me in the balls.”
“This book was made possible by the letter “ø.” Also the letter “æ.” The first time I saw them, I fell in love and just had to learn the language they belonged to. That language turned out to be Norwegian, with its rich history of folk tales about trolls and polar bears and clever young lads and lasses out to make their fortune. I only hope that I didn’t offend my Danish blacksmith forbears by choosing to study Norwegian instead of Danish in college.”
“I feel like I’m on my back, and there’s the Sistine Chapel, and I’m painting away. I like it when people say, ‘Gee, that’s a pretty good-looking painting.’ But it’s my painting, and when somebody says, ‘Why don’t you use more red instead of blue?’ Good-bye. It’s my painting. And I don’t care what they sell it for. The painting itself will never be finished. That’s one of the great things about it.”
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