An Acceptable Time

There are invisible strings, hundreds and thousands of them, that run back deep into our childhoods - Lincoln's "mystic chords of memory," if you will - and often you don't know that one exists until something happens to pluck it. Madeleine L'Engle is dead, at eighty-eight: I never got very deep into anything she wrote except the Time trilogy and its companion volume, Many Waters, but those books I probably read six times each at least, and the string her death plucked has been vibrating in my mind all day - for Charles Wallace and Meg Murray and Calvin O'Keefe and Mrs. Whatsit, but also for the child I was when I encountered her books, the near-yet-faraway past in which I read and then re-read them. For John Podhoretz, whose building she lived in when he was a boy, the chord is thicker, the note stronger. If you loved her books, go read his tribute.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Just In