I was beyond excited that A Wrinkle in Time was made into a movie. I haven’t seen it yet. Probably won’t in the theaters. We just don’t get to the pictures anymore. I read the book and pretty much everything else Madeleine L’Engle wrote for young adults when I was one. When the movie came out, I found the audiobook read by Hope Davis. As I listened, fifteen minutes at a time (distance from home to work to home again), I found my adult mind enjoyed it just as much. After I finished A Wrinkle in Time, I searched for A Wind in the Door, which I am listening to right now. (The second book in the Time Quintet is read by Jennifer Ehle – she is very good. She does all the voices in a way that is not distracting.)*
At first, I was not nearly as compelled as I was by the first book. All that mitochondria talk – so much science – but then I remembered the afterward of the audiobook read by L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voikles. (The others in this recording are Ava Duverny and Madeleine L’Engle herself, which is awesome.) Voikles remarked that L’Engle read physics and other science books and found inspiration. She knit science and religion together. And here I am being carried along into the mitocondria of Charles Wallace by a cherubim named Proginoskes. Charles Wallace is very sick, possibly dying, because his ferandolae (fictional) are under attack. It’s all connected to the bigger, universe problems that continue from the first book. There are worlds that are dark, or shadowed like Earth, and evil has invaded. There are Ecthroi. There is a need for love, a sense of communion with others, and as a human being to be known, truly known, to be named, by others.
As I listen to this story, I am eager for Meg, Calvin, Progo, and Mr. Jenkins (that awful principal) to succeed at their challenges to save Charles Wallace, to save everything and everyone. I also think about how much this message needs to be read, heard, digested, by so many. And I am not just talking about those people we might label as obviously evil, but those of us safe in our convictions that we are good. That we are right. We get the very uncomfortable message to love those we might think are unloveable. Of course this is the message we get from childhood, right? Love your enemies. Love your neighbor. If we did learn it when we were young, we seem to miss the mark when we get older, don’t we?
Who do I know? Who do I name? Who do I love? I have my list; it isn’t very long. It should be longer.
* I am using my public library’s subscription to Overdrive to listen to audiobooks. That and Hoopla. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure Audible is lovely. I also like the public library.