Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One piece at a time


Okay so I thought I had this heaven thing figured out. It'd be all gold and glass and lovely things and...yeah. But this C.S. Lewis book I'm reading made those ideas seem really cliched and dumb. All my ideas are merely symbolism--earthly imitations of heavenly glories that I will never grasp while still bound by human limitations. This is a good and bad thing. I can only depict heaven in human terms; even the Bible does this. That doesn't mean people should stop trying to dig deeper and to create imagery that is uplifting and motivating. C.S. Lewis says, "I am not for a moment condemning such imagery. I heartily wish I could enter it more deeply than I do, and I pray that I yet shall. But my point is that this is only a symbol."

This is all so spiritually-stretching. I'm struggling to stick to this first part of the story as I am so ready to move on to the wonderful things for which I originally set out to depict. I must not be ready for that leg of the journey; that is all I can gather. Like the characters themselves, writers have their own journey in telling the story. I think perhaps I was wrong. In the end I believe I will be the one who gains the most from this achievement. I suppose that was all I really wanted: to give myself a visual place where I could imagine those I've lost and in some way, capture their new home like I'm always trying to capture the world around me. It's difficult for someone like me, with these hidden images inside of me that no one else can see, the presence of which I feel daily. I try and try to bring them out in their entirety, but I never could, in the same way that I will never successfully depict heaven as it really is. It simply can't be done. So while this book is incredibly enlightening, if only to get us thinking, I probably should lighten up a bit and stop expecting the impossible from myself. I have a lot to offer if I can just let go of the perfectionism.  

By the way, C.S. Lewis is great at teaching grammar. I've improved my sentence-forming abilities by leaps and bounds. I think that's how that saying goes. 

The specific book I'm reading is called Made for Heaven and in it are three chapters, one from each of his books that talk extensively about heaven. It's a good Lewis primer at best, but I will have to get my hands on the originals. I was getting frustrated with the local libraries having them split up into so many different locations until I found The Problem of Pain on Google Books. This part of Google may become my favorite! I read A Christmas Carol there instead of getting it at the library so I don't know how it is that I forgot about it.

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