I’m on a Madeleine L’Engle kick right now. I’ve decided that if people can pick their own fairy godmothers, she would be mine. I feel that she’s my spiritual writing mentor, and I love getting the chance to know her better the more I read. Knowing her ideas of time, and connectedness, and love, I rather think she’s relishing the role.
One of the many fascinations Madeleine and I share is the etymology of words. So, here’s a Madeleine L’Engle idea that has got me thinking: the word ‘perfect’ comes from the Latin ‘to do thoroughly.’ She speaks of this action as intrinsic to the very nature of humanity: we must constantly seek this perfection--not necessarily to be flawless or ideal, but to be thorough.
I find it interesting, because it implies an action rather than a stagnant state. To be perfect is to be striving. Because we are human, we make mistakes, but we acknowledge them and move forward, keep trying.
Frankly, my head is spinning with Madeleine L’Engle ideas, and I rather wish I had the time and luxury to write about all of them. Of course, she has already written about them, much more eloquently, so I should probably avoid redundancy and let you read her words. For starters, try Walking on Water, Reflections on Faith and Art, one of the most profound books regarding the role and nature and obligations of art that I’ve ever come across.