"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


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A world where you could run

For now we see in obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me. 
~1 Corinthians 13:12

Mourning doves speak, and I don’t catch their words; I get so frustrated when I cannot understand, and sometimes I stop trying. The doves bounce on their birch branches, crying with frustration over my stupidity: “Why can’t she hear us?”

I feel like I live in one of those dreams I used to have when I was eight, when some awful man was trying to kidnap me—or a witch with wild hair to grab me—or a train rushing down on me—and I couldn’t run away.

I knew I could run—I remembered faintly that in some other world there was running, as there was sunlight and wild mountains and prairie grass at noon—and I knew, somehow, that in that impossible, forgotten otherworld that everyone around me did not believe existed—I could run. Though my mind was locked away from it, my heart was still raw to the touch of a half-remembered hope: It remembered the world where I could run.

I knew I was born to run. It’s the knowing that was the worst, because in your dream, there is no question that in that other world, you were able to run. You haven’t forgotten, and you never will; you just want to go home.

Or perhaps it is like when you cannot remember a word you know exists. You’re not stupid. You could use a different word, get by, move on, rush forward, not take the time to say what you really mean. But you can’t. There is that feeling behind your soul and your words aren’t saying what you mean. There is a deeper reality and it just crashed into your own, unable to stay out any longer; “the Lord knows what He is after.” It’s the reality behind your words, the place of true meaning.

And you try to reach for that word—that deeper place—the one that will let you finally be at rest—the word you were meant to say, or, perhaps, the world in which you were meant to live. You don’t know what that word—that world—is or how to find it or if you ever will. In fact, there is only one thing you do know: there is another world.

So I listen to the doves when they try to tell me of the hawk who disturbed their breakfast, and I watch a December sunrise and try desperately to think of in which other world I’ve seen it before, and I fly in a plane and wonder why the sunlight reflecting off the tops of the clouds seems so familiar—and why primroses pushing through matted oak leaves are supposed to make me cry—and why the princess in the stories was supposed to be me—and why music makes me homesick for a place I’ve never been.

It makes me think of what I did to forget, to forget home. What adventure I had—what mistake I made—to suffer such amnesia.? How did I get here, so far from my true world? And I can only conclude that this must be a sort of dream, a mirror land, in which my greatest calling is to go home.

“The Eagle is right,” said the Lord Digory. “Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. That was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here… And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream.” 

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling... "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"
~The Last Battle