Monday, March 10, 2008

Speaking of C.S. Lewis...

I recently “confessed” to a friend that each year I find myself reading a couple C. S. Lewis books of one kind or another. I owned up to the fact that I needed to diversify in my reading. However, my friend said that maybe I should sit at the feet of Lewis for a time; learn all that I could from this spiritual giant. He encouraged me to allow Lewis to be my teacher.

I am a product of my culture; therefore, I feel the need to dabble in everything, master nothing. To camp out with one writer for a period of time had never occurred to me. After thinking about this advice, I agreed to take up Lewis as my mentor for this upcoming year. The plan is to immerse myself in the body of his writings. I have no delusions about “mastering” Lewis. I only hope to learn.

Right now, I am reading The Weight of Glory, which is a compilation of Lewis’s sermons and lectures. The thing about Lewis is that he begins writing about an incredibly mind-blowing topic; he then breaks off onto a tangent about another incredibly mind-blowing topic, followed by an incredibly mind-blowing topic to be used as an illustration for the first mind-blowing topic. After I scrape my brains off the ceiling, I will post a few nuggets of wisdom I am learning along the way.

I am also reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to the children. This is the second time for Joseph, and the first time for Nate and Katie. My favourite part (and perhaps one of my favourite scenes in all literature) is when Lucy first meets the Faun in the snow with the umbrella and the parcels. It’s magical and mysterious, the quintessential ingredients for good storytelling. Tonight we finished the chapter where Edmund meets the White Witch and he eats the enchanted Turkish Delight. While the three kids sat on the couch covered by a warm, cozy blanket, they ate a sliced up Big Turk chocolate bar---of the un-enchanted variety.

9 comments:

Mike Wilkins said...

Nice note. Good idea. C.S.Lewis for a year. I can hardly wait to get to know you better in 2009!
(By the way, your oil is getting really dirty looking. You are long overdue for a change!

Barbara said...

Did I ever tell you that in my childhood I played Mr. Tumnus in my highschool musical version of Narnia? Complete with umbrella and cave and wild and wooly hair. I even had to be a statue for an entire scene. Fantastic. If you ever want to chuckle I'll lend you and your sons of Adam and daughter of Eve my antiquated VHS of our show. Our White Witch was particularly wonderful.

Mike Wilkins said...

Are you talking to me, Barbara? I'm working on a leaky crankcase just now and can't really talk. But Yes! You did tell me about your brilliant stage work as Tumnus. It came up in the audition, I think. Have a nice day. (Say Hi to Mr. Galumphing if you see him before I do!)

Barbara said...

Sorry Mike, this time I was talking to Dr. Johnston. You see I am trying to convince both him and his sons that I would be a remarkably cool mother in law some day...
However, it does my heart good to know that you have memories of me from 13-14 years ago. We have a "history"! How fun is that? :-)

Jeremy W. Johnston said...

It warms my heart, Barb, to hear that you played the role of Mr. Tumnus. He is a brave and courageous soul, not unlike you. I think you were typecast for the role. As a future in-law for my children, I would be guarded had you been cast as Mrs. Beaver (a bit of a busy body) or the White Witch (a sinister and vindictive woman). Neither character makes a good mother-in-law. If you had not been cast as Mr. Tumnus, I think the beer swilling beaver would have been my second choice for a mother-in-law.

The fact that you also played a statue is a testimony to your enduring patience.

As for my acting credits, I have played a religious prude, an Elvis impersonator, and a medical quack... But before you rule me out as father-in-law, I also played Jesus in a mimed skit. (I know mime experience can be considered a liability, but it was a good skit).

Lastly, I am glad my blog is being used as a conduit for dialogue between you and Mike. Don’t you guys go to the same church?

Jeremy

Mike Wilkins said...

Allow me to interject and to intercede on the behalf of Barbara Tumnus, who was not meaning to communicate with me on your blogsite, although I in a fit of megalomania, all too common an experience for me, I confess, assumed that she must be addressing me and took her comments personally. But be assured, it was to you, Professor Galumphing, to you! As it should have been.

Barbara said...

This has just been my most favourite conversation ever...or at least in the last week or two! Thanks for putting a smile on this stay-at-home mom's face.

kristina said...

just for the record ... I played baby Jesus when I was only a few weeks old so I think, personally, I win.
if you doubt my acting skills, come see for yourself this Easter Weekend ... sit with barb.
oh, and check your e-mail blogless mike (lurker)

Jeremy W. Johnston said...

This is great to have all these West Londoners stopping by. It is like we are having a reunion. Perhaps as my blog morphs into a Lewis shrine, we can rename these “comment banterings” as a meeting of the Inklings. Mike, I realise that the “smoking a pipe” schtick doesn't bode well with the marathon man aspirations, but at least you are a hundred miles away in case I happen to feel inclined. Although, I am not permitted to smoke in the house. Perhaps the cyber-Inklings are better for everyone’s health. I suppose Barb and Kristina aren't too keen about Longbottom leaf either. Although, if I recall, Mr. Tumnus enjoyed pipe tobaccy on occasion.

On another note, we need to get Steve R and Chris P (the REAL doctor) to start blogging.