When author Maurice Sendak died a couple weeks ago he not only left a hole in the literary world, but in all of life as we know it.
Having loved him and his work since I was a kid, I devoured anything I could about him. Of all that has been written about him, or interviews he did, it’s this bit from “Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children’s Lit” on NPR, that I love most:
“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
Because that’s what a wild thing does when they love something so much: they eat it.