Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your Next Pick-Up Line?

There are two books that I want to share here, one is a biography of the well-known Amazing Grace composer, John Newton and the other one is a journal of a Christian writer, C.S. Lewis. Both individual lived in a different era, but both of their writings share one unifying theme - a crazy and intense love feeling for their wife. One cannot help but notice and feel and shudder in amazement at the passion coming out from the romantic and melancholic hands of these Christian leaders. So, I think it would be interesting to show the other side of them which is too often shadowed by their other glorious life story or achievement. Here are the writings of an ordinary Adam falling helplessly to their Eve.

Describing his initial feeling, he wrote "Almost at the first sight of this girl, I felt an affection for her that never abated.". In his journal, he expressed his feeling as "this violent and commanding passion .... a dark fire locked up in my breast ... in degree it equaled all that the writers of romance have imagined". 

Isn't this the greatest love letter ever?
"The first day I saw you I began to love you. The thoughts of one day meriting you (and believe nothing less could have done it) roused me from a dull insensible melancholy I had contracted and pushed me into the world. .... I think I could run on to a volume, but it would be quite needless, for it is not in the power of words to express with how great ardency I am - Your most devoted faithful admirer, John Newton"

And upon returning to England for six weeks with his wife, he called this period "the happiest part of my life," and continue "I never before had so much of your company in equal space and with so little interruption. Seven such weeks are preferable to seven years of common time."

And on a later occasion, writing to his friend in regards to several people who questioned his wife's excellency to be his partner (as she has no brain nor beauty), Newton wrote "There are sensibilities belonging to a happy marriage that can no more be communicated by description than the taste of a pineapple. They are only to be acquired by experience."

C.S. Lewis - A Grief Observed
Well, this one is different - it's not a book but a journal that he kept after his wife died - detailing his pain and grief at this bereavement. 
"At first I was very afraid of going to places where she and I had been happy - our favorite pub, our favorite wood. But I decided to do it at once. Unexpectedly, it makes no difference. Her absence is no more emphatic in those places than anywhere else. It's not local at all. Eating in general would be different, every day, at every meal. It is like that. The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything."

Reflecting back to his marriage and why it was ended he wrote "It was too perfect to last, so I am tempted to say of our marriage. It could mean "This had reached its proper perfection. This had become what it had in it to be. Therefore of course it would not be prolonged. As if God said, 'Good; you have mastered that exercise. I am very pleased with it. And now you are ready to go on to the next.' "

It's never easy to swallow the hard truth and face the reality. But it is always better to take it at face value rather to deny it by creating a disillusionment or petty comfort  "It is hard to have patience with people who say, 'There is no death' or 'Death doesn't matter.' There is death. .... I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain than that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch? She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn?"

And lastly, such a despondent statement - and I second that. Grief has less to do with sorrow or being forsaken, it has more to do with being fearful of what tomorrow or even the next hour may bring.  And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn't seem worth starting anything. I can't settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness. 


Angeline Rosari said...

C.S. Lewis punya bagus banget..truly a grief observed..might want to read this one..

pick up lines for girls said...

Love your blog.