This past week I've been in bed with a swollen face and four less teeth. Needless to say I've had a lot of time to get in my head and just think. I've also had a lot of time to read (and who am I kidding watch too much netflix). I'm currently in the middle of The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis - the first of the Narnia series. I watched the first movie over the holidays and was re-captivated by the story and the beautiful childlike imagery. I've only ever read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is actually the second in the series rather than the first, so one of my winter goals to is to read the whole series. It is enchanting and so incredibly inspiring.
My typical reading includes a lot of Hemingway with some Fitzgerald and Walker Percy. I like straight forward story lines about real life and real people. I don't like too many metaphors and similes and I prefer the end to leave me thinking for a while after. But I'm also a sucker for a good enchanted, mystical adventure as long as there's a point of reality even if it is ever so tiny. I don't want to give away this little plot line but it's clear that this book is setting up the story, setting up the magical worlds and in the middle this quote that Aslan says made me put the book down and just sit for a while. As he's bringing a world to life he says, "Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters."
I don't wish to go deep into Lewis' philosophies and theologies behind his writings that's quite the opposite of what I was thinking about when I first read this line. The reason I love Hemingway is for his truthfulness in his story telling. Not that everything he wrote was non-fiction but that everything he wrote was a part of life. Love, sex, betrayal, apathy, pain, death. It's all there and it's always in his writings. He brings humanity to words and it's beautiful and tragic. These words that Lewis wrote struck me in that way as well. He is not (only) calling his readers to think spiritually about the beauty of creation and nature, rather, in my opinion, he's giving us the commands that we so frequently forget when we're going about our daily, busy lives. Awake. Be awakened by life, by love, by your surroundings. Love. Fall deeply into it and work hard to use love as a verb with those around you. Think. Put down mindless tasks every once and a while and truly think, be inside your head, listen to your thoughts. Speak. Live, breath, create, and speak all of these things that make you human. And the beauty of it is after thinking about these words for a bit of time they started forming different meanings, giving me different ideas. So sit with them, and as cheesy as it is to say, find out what they mean for you.
Photos of Emily Howard