Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Sweet, Secret Desire

In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you--the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter....The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things--the beauty, the memory of our own past--are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them.
~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (1949)


On this day (yesterday):

1917 Lewis (age eighteen) is deployed to France with his regiment, the Somerset Light Infantry. Inexplicably, his father refuses to come see him in Bristol before he is shipped off to war.

Link of the day: Did you know your Narnia Cookbook was worth this much money?

5 Comment(s):

At Thu Nov 18, 07:39:00 AM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

The Tag-Board site has been MIA for the past couple of days.

Am I irritated? Yes. Yes, I am.

That is all....

At Thu Nov 18, 01:16:00 PM EST, Blogger Pilot Mom said...

Maybe his father knew that he would be too emotional and didn't want his son to see him in that manner. I, personally, can't imagine that. My son is in the Air Force and you can't keep me away from him! I, too, am emotional, but PTL God has enabled me to not cry at significant times in our son's life (at least not in front of him!). The first being when we left him at college that first year, the second, when he graduated from college and was commissioned (we, his father and I, pinned on his bars) and thirdly, when he left for his next assignment in GA for flight school. He has always been so impressed when I pull off something like that. But, it truly is only by the Lord's grace! Anyway, if I had been around Lewis' father at that time, I would have encouraged him to go! Enough rambling about mox nix! :)

At Thu Nov 18, 03:10:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

The most information that I've been able to find out about this situation is in the Introduction to "All My Road Before Me", (Lewis's Diary) where Warren Lewis is noted as writing "My father was a very peculiar man in some respects, in none more than in an almost pathological hatred of taking any step which involved a break in the dull routine of his daily existence."

Some people are afraid of travelling, and can only operate within their comfort-zone of familiarity.

My kids are little. I can't imagine a separation from them, but I suppose that will change as they grow into teenagers! ;-)

At Thu Nov 18, 05:26:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

Wow, PilotMom, you're in the Air Force? That's neat! So, uh, just between you and me... is there really a Stargate program? **Ducks and runs away.**

I think the hypothesis that Mr. Lewis did not want to see his sons so emotional is probably a good one. Men. ;)

Oh, yeah, Arevanye, I love that picture of the cat! It's adorable!

At Mon Nov 22, 12:43:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerewyn: Wow, almost speechless at this quote *lump in throat, saving copy*


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