To hear of a thousand deaths in war is terrible. We ‘know’ that it is. But as it registers on our hears, it is not more terrible than one death fully imagined.
“Do you know, Sister, I have come to feel more and more that the Fox hasn’t the whole truth. Oh, he has much of it. It’d be dark as a dungeon within me but for his teaching. And yet … I can’t say it properly. He calls the whole world a city. But what’s a city build on? There’s earth beneath. And outside the wall? Doesn’t all the food come from there as well as all the dangers? … things growing and rotting, strengthening and poisoning, things shining wet … in one way (I don’t know which way) more like, yes, even more like the House of–”
“Yes, of Ungit,” said I. “Doesn’t the whole land smell of her? Do you and I need to flatter gods any more? They’re tearing us apart … oh, how shall I bear it? … and what worse can they do? Of course the Fox is wrong. He knows nothing about her. He thought too well of the world. He thought there were no gods, or else, (the fool!), that they were better than men. It never entered his mind — he was too good — to believe that the gods are real, and viler than the vilest men.”
“Of else,” said Psyche, “they are real gods but don’t really do these things. Or even — mightn’t it be — they do these things and the things are not what they seem to be?”
From chapter seven of C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold.
My wife and I visited her sister at Florida State University last weekend. Beautiful place (even if stupidly humid). Here’s a photo I took with my smartphone of an especially impressive trees on campus — one of many. Click on the image for a bigger view.
In other news, these past few weeks have been the hardest of my life. I don’t know how personal I want to be on this blog just yet, but those who know me understand what I’m talking about. I honestly can’t imagine anything worse. I’m not convinced the worst is behind me, either. I’m confused and I wonder sometimes if I even know what has happened, or what is going on. I wonder whether it will hit me — all of it — when I least expect it. I’m scared of the future for reasons I never thought of before. I’m privy to things that I didn’t know existed, and worry about things I’m not sure I can handle. The days blur together, at least for now, and my goals and aspirations seems to have gotten lost somewhere — I’m sure they’ll look quite different when I find them.
But despite all this, I’m ok. It’s odd, really, that despite so much change and so much loss, many things remain the same — things you don’t notice until they become all you have left. These things are comforting.
Lastly, please believe me when I say we need each other. We need other people more than we need food and shelter. We need love and companionship. We need camaraderie. We need hugs and gifts and family dinners and late nights out with friends. We need someone to see us cry every now and again. We need to hear someone’s secrets and to let them know ours. We need to worry about others and be worried about. We need to get mad sometimes when others aren’t there for us. And we need someone to forgive when we remember that there’s always more to the story.
We need these things. We cannot live without them. They are the stuff of life — glimpses of another world, in a mysterious way, that give us a reason to keep going through even the most horrifying of circumstances. They’ve sure kept me going these past few weeks.
Please believe me. You need these things. Your friends at work, school, and church need these things. Be a giver of these things, and take them as often as you can. Never forget that.