"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saving women a lot of trouble

"Instead [of a man in love necessarily] pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone... he needs to go alone himself, perhaps to a mountain cabin, for three months, write poetry, canoe down a river, and dream. That would save some women a lot of trouble."

~Robert Bly

When I first read it, this quote made me laugh out loud. But then, it caused me to think. Who says women should be the only dreamers? The more I talk with my fellow students at college, the more I seem to notice that it is the girls who more often dream the big, impossible dreams, and the men, less so.

I wonder if this is some sort of odd result of our culture's focus on empowering women over empowering men. As little girls, we are told from the beginning that we can do anything, be anything, go anywhere -- and yet, I wonder if we forget to tell the little boys the same thing.

Dreaming inspires us and shows us a world as it could be, and then, our deepest desire becomes to make it that way. That is true glory.

So, dream.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The great devotions

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

~Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Leap of faith

Sometimes, you feel like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade. You are in one place, and you know you need to get to another, but it is impossible to get there. You are isolated, alone with your decision but for the infinite chasm in front of you.

You know you must get across; you know this. It has been made so clear to you, you are willing to risk your life for it. Heaven knows you’ve struggled with doubt and uncertainty before, but for now, for once, it is not a question of having an unclear goal or a blurred vision. It is not a question of being unwilling or unmotivated.

You just don’t know how to do it. You just don’t know. And so many doors have seemed to close so fast and so hard that all of the logical, sensible, options seem to have been suffocated. And you are left there, standing, looking down into that chasm that seems to extend down and down and down forever.

What do you do? You can’t go back. It is not an option to fail; you know you won’t, somehow. But that doesn’t lessen what you now have to do. How do you go forward into the impossible?

It’s not really that you’re afraid. You don’t have to be, not when you know where you are is right. And it’s not that you’re unhappy, exactly; you know blessing and adventure awaits. And it’s not even that you’re entirely confused, for although you’ve just been told to do the unattainable, it’s clear that you’ve been told. And you never consider saying no.

So you hesitate. Do you literally just step across? Could it be that simple and that complex? It must be. Because perhaps it takes the closing of every other door and every other option and every other logical, reasonable, sensible, educated solution to make obvious to you the one, single, simplest, clearest, easiest, and hardest option of all.

That perhaps, you are just supposed to step across.