Saturday, February 17, 2007

On Reading and Blogging

My blogging life began a few years ago as a whim. I thought, knowing myself as I did, that I'd stick with it for a week or two, maybe a month, and then just let it slide. My first and second blogs were Mr. Standfast and Gratitude & Hoopla. My idea then was, at least in part, to be an encouragement to believers. Perhaps even a guide of sorts (sure, don't we all start a project with over-wrought expectations?).

Anyway, I've drifted away from the encouragement motif, as any occasional reader would recognize. I've drifted away from the blogging as ministry idea altogether. Nevertheless, blogging seems to be a part of me (as millions of others can say as well). In the end, it's just me, blogging. Take it or leave it.

My subject now, more often than not, has something to do with the books I've been reading. So, if this blog is anything, it is a reader's blog. Not a lit-blog, for to be that I would have to keep up with (and care about) goings-on in the literary world. No, but I love reading, am around books a lot (I work in a library), eschew television because it's not nearly as enjoyable as reading, and looking back I can honestly say that mine has been a life of one who has often been accused of having his "face in a book."

Okay. So that's what I am. And no book, btw, has given me more pleasure lately than Alan Jacobs' The Narnian. Jacobs is certainly the right man to write about Lewis, for his prose, like that of Lewis himself, has a certain ease about it, a relaxed erudition, and even a joy, as of one who loves to express a thought clearly about something he loves well.

To finish this somewhat rambling post, how about a quote from Lewis himself. In The Weight of Glory Lewis speaks of the real pleasures of this world as hints or markers of something deeper ("the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited"). Then:
Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am, but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years.
Jacobs, summarizing Lewis' thought on this matter, adds this: "How can we be released from the evil enchantment that threatens to abolish humanity? Perhaps the greatest resource on which he draws--and it is a mighty one--is, simply, delight. He calls us to take note of what gives us pleasure, for, though our pleasures can indeed lead us astray, they are in their proper form great gifts from God."

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