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“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
~ A.A. Milne
I found a box of this paper at the back of a bureau so I must write to you as I am mourning for my lost innocence. It never looked like living. The doctors despaired of it from the start…
I am never quite alone. Members of my family keep turning up and collecting luggage and going away again, but the white raspberries are ripe.
I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice. I don’t want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits.
Love or what you will.
And now an appropriate quote for the moment:
“A facility for quoteation covers the absence of original though.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey in “Gaudy Night”
I just read that Maurice Sendak died. He is most commonly known for his book Where the Wild Things Are. But I love him for his earlier illustrations, esp. the ones from A Hole is To Dig (via Little Lamb Books). He will be missed!
I woke up late, but somehow time slowed down and I am still on time. I really like my outfit. It’s warm outside (albeit overcast, but that reminds me of California and home). And, I’ve just discovered I like black coffee. This day is off to an amazing start!
Do you like random? Here is a picture of a hedgehog that is too adorable for words.
And now I am randomly going to quote some Lent appropriate Shakespeare just to top off the morning:
“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.”
- Cymbeline, 4.2
Every year about this time I start to re-read the entire Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I hope to do this for the rest of my life, because every year I find that the story changes a bit, and the land within the wardrobe gets a little deeper and more mysterious instead of more familiar. Each year Aslan calls the children to Narnia and I find myself learning more from these children’s books than all the WSJ articles I read in a year.
C.S. Lewis wrote a letter to his god-daughter, Lucy, in response to her comments on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. And it encapsulates these books for me.
You’ve got it exactly right. A strict allegory is like a puzzle with a solution: a great romance is like a flower whose smell reminds you of something you can’t quite place.*
For me the Chronicles of Narnia really are like that “flower whose smell reminds you of something you can’t quite place.” As I grow older I am more and more able to place the smell, or I have better idea from which direction the smell is coming, but it remains elusive. And a part of me thinks I would be horribly disappointed to wake up one day and realize I could place the smell of the flower, because it would mean the adventure is over. But the other part of me, the Lucy part of me, knows that once I find out where the scent comes from, the adventure will finally begin! Come further up and further in!
*C.S. Lewis Letters to Children (New York: Macmillian Publishing Company, 1985), 81.
The fortnight at Venice passed quickly and sweetly — perhaps to sweetly; I was drowning in honey, stingless. On some days life kept pace with the gondola, as we nosed through the side-canals and the boatman uttered his plaintive musical bird-cry of warning; on other days with the speed-boat bouncing over the lagoon in a stream of sun-lit foam; it left a confused memory of fierce sunlight on the sands and cool, marble interiors; of water everywhere, lapping on smooth stone, reflected in a dapple of light on painted ceilings; of a night at the Corombona palace such as Byron might have known, and another Byronic night fishing for scampi in the shallows of Chioggia, the phosphorescent wake of the little ship, the lantern swinging in the prow and the net coming up full of weed and sand and floundering fishes; of melon and prosciutto on the balcony in the cool of the morning; of hot cheese sandwiches and champagne cocktails at the English bar.
Waugh, Evelyn, Brideshead Revisited (Little Brown and Company, Boston: 1973), 101.
After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.
The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.
Joyce Kilmer’s Anthology of Catholic Poets, (Halcyon House, New York: 1940), p. 356.
He told me and, on the instant, it was as though someone had switched off the wireless, and a voice that had been bawling in my ears, incessantly, fatuously, for days beyond number, had been suddenly cut short; an immense silence followed, empty at first, but gradually, as my outraged sense regained authority, full of a multitude of sweet and natural and long-forgotten sounds – for he had spoken a name that was so familiar to me, a conjuror’s name of such ancient power, that, at its mere sound, the phantoms of those haunted late years began to take flight. ~Prologue