Tuesday, November 16, 2004

John sees the Island

I saw where they came down to the white beaches of a bay of the sea, the western end of the world, a place very ancient, folded many miles deep in the silence of forests; a place, in some sort, lying rather at the world's beginning, as though men were born travelling away from it. It was early in the morning when they came there and heard the sound of the waves; and looking across the sea--at that hour almost colourless--all those thousands became still. And what the others saw I do not know: but John saw the Island. And the morning wind, blowing offshore from it, brought the sweet smell of its orchards to them, but rarified and made faint with the thinness and purity of early air, and mixed with a little sharpness of the sea. But for John, because so many thousands looked at it with him, the pain and the longing were changed and all unlike what they had been of old; for humility was mixed with their wildness, and the sweetness came not with pride and with the lonely dreams of poets nor with the glamour of a secret, but with the homespun truth of folktales, and with the sadness of graves and freshness as of earth in the morning.

~C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim's Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason, and Romanticism (1944)


Cool link of the day: Antarctic Macquarie Island Station Live WebCam

Another Cool Link: EarthView (a satellite image of the earth showing day and night regions in real time, clickable to zoom).

1 Comment(s):

At Tue Nov 16, 08:02:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

I just thought I'd pass along a bit about The Pilgrim's Regress that George Sayer has written in his book Jack, A Life of C.S. Lewis.

"Most of the book is written with wit and precision, but in the last sections it rises to mystical heights. Guided by the very bright figure of Contemplation, John has a vision of true heavenly joy. Here the prose rises to the greatness of the theme...

The final section makes clear the significance of the title. Now that he has become a Christian, John is told to retrace his steps. He passes once again through all the countries of the mind that he had traversed before his conversion. He now sees them quite clearly as the unpleasant or irrational delusions they really are. In the end, he comes to his parents' cottage in the land of his childhood, Puritania, where he finds his final resting place and his deep joy."


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