Saturday, February 5, 2011


One of the books I read and re-read, when I was a child, was A Wrinkle in Time. Of course I loved the fact that a girl was the hero, there were witches and magic and such, but what I loved most about that book was the idea that time could wrinkle, that two locations in time/space could be brought together. It sure made long distance travel very easy for the characters in the book and, to my young mind, made perfect sense. Indeed I was a shaman even then, I just didn't know it yet.

I think about the hypercube idea of time travel whenever I get together with old friends. You know that feeling, as if not even a week has passed since last you saw someone? You pick up right where you left off. I find that experience of seamless continuity over time to be so heartening.

Last night I met ever so briefly with Pandora Minerva O'Mallory, one of the greatest teachers of magic and earth-based spirituality ever, the greatest priestess I have ever known, a brilliant, compassionate, gifted, funny human being. Seriously. Ask anyone who studied with her; I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I took my first class with her around 1990 in San Francisco. From then on I signed up for every class she taught, even if I had already taken the class in question. There are people you can learn from just by sitting there, listening. Pandora is one of those people. When she finished her Ph.D. at Berkeley in medieval literature, she was immediately snapped up by a university back east, a wonderful thing for her and a great loss for the San Francisco Reclaiming community.

Last night we had dinner, drank tea, talked talked talked. The last time I saw her was at least 13 or 14 years ago, but that truth was of no consequence. Both of us have aged, and have become more light hearted. It was so wonderful to reaquaint ourselves with each other.

Dinner with Pandora is an excellent example of carpe diem behavior. Life is short. Make time to sit down and feast with people you love. Seriously.

Shabbat shalom, y'all.


jeanette from everton terrace said...

I should have known, it is one of my all time favorite books. I remember being mesmerized in the third grade when our teacher read us a chapter each week. I think it might be the reason I named my daughter Meg. The scene where the children are out front bouncing the ball in rhythm has come back to me over and over in my life. I think I need to give it another read :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Jeanette, me too! How funny. If you and I met in "real" life it would feel as if we already knew each other, some other version of the tesseract. I'm sure of it.

Cindy said...

I loved that book! I read it over and over, and read it to my kids. and the other ones in the series- A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and I can't remember the name of the other one. (My memory is gettting bad!)

Reya Mellicker said...

Madaleine L'Engle is one of my heroes!

ellen abbott said...

I tried and tried to get my daughter to read that. she would never give it a try, said she didn't like science fiction. I guess I'll try with my granddaughters.

I'm so happy you had a good evening. It's wonderful when that happens, as if no time has passed at all.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Reya, I love that book too and its sequels. As an elementary school librarian I was able to encourage kids to read about magic & magical places (The Chronicles of Narnia). There were a few who could not read them because of religious beliefs, but most kids loved them.
Once upon a time I had a dear friend with whom I could go months without seeing & we would pick up the conversation as if it were the day before. She has passed on now & I miss her terribly.
I'm so glad you had a lovely evening with your friend & mentor. I hope there will be stories of her that you can share.

linda said...

That certainly sounds like what was my experience at Table Rock Lake this past fall when the gypsy girls re-connected...just like magic.

I found a very cool three dimensional animation of a tesseract rotation. It really does make so much sense when you can watch it.

Glad you had such a great evening with your old friend and teacher.

steven said...

reya, i am so grateful for anything that allows for timelessness! sharing the long emerging moment of connection with someone so close to you is pure magic!!! so lucky you!!! steven

Vicki said...

So glad you had a great time with your teacher and friend. There really is nothing like reconnecting is there? Hope there are many more reunions in the future. Love and peace Reya...

Jo said...

I was obviously still reading Nancy Drew while you were into the time-wrinkling tesseracts.

I can't follow the math and physics and magic of it all, but I can relate to the feeling that time has stood still.

It's incredible and marvelous that we have this ability to connect and then feel the same affection again after very long absences. What marvelous creatures we can be!

I'm happy to hear of your delightful reunion with a past teacher. I feel certain she was quite proud.

Elizabeth said...

Some people we don't see for years and then
continue chatting as if we never left the room.
Yes, books we read in our distant youth imprint themselves so clearly.
I have always been pretty keen on alternative worlds --in my case CS Lewis's Narnia .

Please tell me what Pandora Minerva's birth name was!
Crescent Dragonwagon's was Ellen Zolotow.
We children of the 60's loved semi Medieval names...

Gosh, I was blown away by Janelle's post.
She really flies close to the wind.


Reya Mellicker said...

Janelle is amazing. Sometimes we connect at the end of her day, beginning of mine, on fB. It's almost like a tesseract.

Linda, YES I was thinking the same thing about Table Rock; time folded and there we were just like always, only ... different.

I've also experienced this sense when meeting a blogfellow for the first time. It feels perfectly natural.

Pandora is one of the most brilliant people I have ever known - as well as being one of the most human and humane. It was a great visit.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo I LOVED Nancy Drew!

The Bug said...

I've never read this book! I guess I'll have to get it for my Kindle now :)

I definitely have friends like that - and it's so comforting that you can just live your life without contorting yourself to keep in touch. Meeting when we can meet works just fine.

Pandora said...

You are a sweetie, and I'm honored that you think so well of me!

I LOVED dinner, and loved seeing you -- come to us soon. Soon and soon.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pandora!! Thank you for coming to visit the blog. Yes yes and YES ... road trip to Pittsburgh coming up oh yeah.

California Girl said...

The line, "Make time to sit down and feast with people you love." resonates with me today as I've just written, in Women of a Certain Age, about losing an old friend/boyfriend and the memories it brings. Life is so very short and death can be unexpected, as was his.

C.M. Jackson said...

when I saw the title --I asked myself why is that word so familiar? The ahha moment made me smile as I too love "A Wrinkle in Time" and most everything L'Engle wrote...thanks for making me remember the joy and wonder of that book!