I read Madeline L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet around the same time as C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed and Sheldon Vanauken’s A Severe Mercy, and putting those writers together–all orthodox Christians, in older, reflective postures, flavored how I read L’Engle’s thoughts on family and creative life. I’m re-reading A Circle of Quiet this next month—a book club choice–and am ready to pick it up being ten years older and in a different phase of life.

In the book, L’Engle describes setting up a writing space above her garage. I’ve lived in small spaces or with other people for the past many years, so it’s not yet been possible for me to have a my own space, even though I’ve tried desks (too rigid) fluffy chairs (too sleepy) and tables (too studious). So for now I’ll keep up my most productive pattern, which is writing on my laptop or journal in cafés around Capitol Hill. But someday I’ll have my own closet or attic, and I’ll make the thing a livable junk drawer with clusters of photos and sheet music on the wall, a thick narrow rug, bowls of beaded fruit and pools of blue pens.

Circle of Quiet