Friday, June 10, 2005

They Stand Together

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." We can imagine that among those early hunters and warriors single individuals—one in a century? One in a thousand years?—saw what others did not; saw that the deer was beautiful as well as edible, that hunting was fun as well as necessary, dreamed that his gods might be not only powerful but holy. But as long as each of these percipient persons dies without finding a kindred soul, nothing will come of it; art or sport or spiritual religion will not be born. It is when two such persons discover one another when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision—it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, "Friendship" (1960)

***

Many chapters ago I mentioned a boy who lived near us and who had tried, quite unsuccessfully, to make friends with my brother and myself. His name was Arthur and he was my brother's exact contemporary; he and I had been at Campbell together though we never met. I think it was shortly before the beginning of my last term at Wyvern that I received a message saying that Arthur was in bed, convalescent, and would welcome a visit. I can't remember what led me to accept this invitation, but for some reason I did.

I found Arthur sitting up in bed. On the table beside him lay a copy of Myths of the Norsemen.

"Do you like that?" said I.

"Do you like that?" said he.

Next moment the book was in our hands, our heads were bent close together, we were pointing, quoting, talking--soon almost shouting--discovering in a torrent of questions that we liked not only the same thing, but the same parts of it and in the same way. That both knew the stab of Joy and that, for both, the arrow was shot from the North...Nothing, I suspect, is more astonishing in any man's life than the discovery that there do exist people very, very like himself.
~C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy, "Release", (1955)

2 Comment(s):

At Tue Jan 22, 11:59:00 AM EST, Blogger jonathan brewer said...

I love the correspondense between CSL and Arthur Greeves.

 
At Tue Jan 22, 12:00:00 PM EST, Blogger jonathan brewer said...

I love the correspondence between CSL and Arthur Greeves,

 

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