Posts tagged #cs lewis

Loving the Heroine

Loving what isn't there...

Loving what isn't there...

One author, whom I have read, wrote to another author, whom I have not read, thus:

"None of the faults is purely literary. The talent is certain: but you have a sickness in the soul. You are much too much in that enchanted world yourself - and perhaps with no very powerful talisman round your neck. You are in love with your own heroine - which is author's incest and always spoils a book. I know all about it because I've been in the wood too. It took me years to get out of it: and only after I'd done so did re-enchantment begin. If you try to stay there the wood will die on you - and so will you!"(1)

It has me thinking - do I seek a story that is not real; do I clench an enchanted wood where I do not belong?

It is good to question, good to evaluate, and evaluate again. Beyond that, I'm not sure what to tell you, or to tell myself. Sometimes one knows, and is very wrong, sometimes one never knows, and is more right than he may imagine.

Take heart, wherever you are at, for you are truly not alone.

  1. C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis; Letter to Roger Lancelyn Green, 16 September 1945, p. 114
Posted on February 5, 2012 and filed under Literature, Letter.


Traherne's  Centuries ...

Traherne's Centuries...

I came across a reference Lewis (1) made to Traherne's work in Centuries. I really liked it. So of course I had to go and buy the book and read it myself. I didn't realize, when I ordered it, that it was a used library book from England. I felt fancy after it came in the mail... 

The following is quoted in Lewis's book, and I added references to the book I later received.

You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars... till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God as misers do in gold. (2)
I must lead you out of this into another world to learn your wants. For till you find them you will never be happy. (3)
[Souls] were made to love and are dark and vain and comfortless till they do it. Till they love they are idle or misemployed. Till they love they are desolate. (4)

Thomas Traherne - Centuries

  1. C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis; Letter to Arthur Greeves, 8 July 1930, p. 18
  2. Thomas Traherne, Centuries; "First Century", #29, p. 14
  3. Thomas Traherne, Centuries; "First Century", #43, p. 21
  4. Thomas Traherne, Centuries; "Second Century", #48, p. 80

Posted on November 8, 2011 and filed under Literature.

Silly Fancies...

Silly fancies and tales...

Silly fancies and tales...

I get to see her tomorrow, I think. It makes me think about a trip I took once to Central Asia. I was on a bus, and there were these younger teenage girls, who, giggling, rushed off at a stop after grabbing my butt. I was flattered; that even I would draw such attention. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that I could have been Bob, Marco, Anton, Jack, or anyone. 'Twas not I that bore the attraction, but the idea of something I might have been. They knew me not; no hopes, fears, dreams, toils, nothing; nothing to them but an idea.

Things can never work out sometimes, 'tis dreams, dreams, and nothing more. Wilcox would say, "I could no more stop dreaming than I could make them all come true." (1)

I'm beginning to think that these silly dreams are okay. Read Lewis today:

As to the business about being 'rooted' or 'at home everywhere', I wonder are they really the opposite, or are they the same thing. I mean, don't you enjoy the Alps more precisely because you began by first learning to love in an intimate and homely way our own hills and woods? While the mere globe-trotter, starting not from a home feeling but from guide books and aesthetic chatter, feels equally at home everywhere only in the sense that he is really at home nowhere?... In other words doesn't one get to the universal (either in people or in inanimate nature) thro' the individual - not by going off into a mere generalised mash. (2)

And I think it was one of Tolkien's characters who said we should love the things we are fitted to love. Without the common, could we even love the beyond?

I'll see her tomorrow, and I'll enjoy it for whatever it's worth; and I'll walk on.

  1. David Wilcox, How Did You Find Me Here; track 11, The Kid
  2. C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis; Letter to Arthur Greeves, 1 July 1930, p. 17 

Posted on November 4, 2011 and filed under Letter.

Fading dreams...

Fading dreams...

Fading dreams...

Woke up to a dream about a girl whose face I was missing. She, instead, woke up thinking about a trip to New York City.

After realizing it was all just a dream I was a bit somber. Perhaps letting go, even of fantasies and faeries, can be a chilly wind to the soul seeking warmth.

Lewis writes: 

"It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself - to dream you have waked, washed, and dressed, and then to find yourself still in bed..." (1)

Part of me would, sometimes, trade the dream for reality I suppose, but I understand that part of reality is that hardship, toil, pain, suffering, they too have their purpose. Since I cannot see all paths, all outcomes of all chanced steps taken, I cannot be the one who judges with true equity. I cannot fully talk about what is outside the box if I am wholly inside the box with no ability to actually go outside of it. To some of the reality that is at hand I must submit. Carrying your allotted burden, the so-called cards dealt, is not folly, per se; if indeed it is the burden you should bear. But who decides what is the appropriate burden? When is enough then enough?

Whatever is decided, I think it should be done humbly so, and I should not take others' decisions so lightly in the paths they choose, either.

If the sublime goodnesses I encounter be so only in fading dreams, I can appreciate them still; yet still walk on with, or against, that steady blowing cold wind...

  1. C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis; Letter to Arthur Greeves, 15 June 1930, p. 16

Posted on November 4, 2011 and filed under Letter.