CS Lewis

i don’t know how old he was

but my son, when he was little, was going on and on about a book he was reading. I asked him how he came to read that book, presumed he got it from the school library, or when we went to the library — we used to go the library about every two weeks (I took out more books than I could read, but that was in case I did read a lot, or in case some book or other would not suit me. Mind you, I rarely not finish a book, no matter how bad it is, hoping that somewhere in it is a pearl … unless I come across a no-no). I digressed.

When he told me it was class reading, I was shocked. He was talking about stags and witches and dark things. Ok, time to be a Mom and read the book, it’s the only way. I have done this with many other books, games, even music. Some of my favorite music comes from him lending me a CD (dating myself=) that sounded different or dark (that word keeps popping up). Anyway, I had never heard of CS Lewis — just because I read a lot doesn’t mean I read everything. And I did not grow up in this country, so common stories in English were foreign to me.

i read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and got hooked and read all of the Chronicles books in a jiffy

Then I realized that he didn’t just write children’s books (that seems so comical now). Eventually, like, years later, I bought A Year with C.S. Lewis — Daily Readings from His Classic Works, a little treasure of a book with a daily snippet from his different books. I have been reading it continuously for over thirteen years and have read many of his other works. For my birthday one year, I wanted CS Lewis anything as I had nothing but that little book … and The Kama Sutra. I did, really, and got them. I had read some of the Sutra years earlier, a book borrowed from the library, and was curious to read it again. Sometimes I am not sure if I remember things well. I had been unable to a) find it in any library, b) find it in any shop, c) not even in India. But I got it. Have read a lot more of CS Lewis — for what it’s worth. I think I wanted the Sutra because I couldn’t get it and because it reminded me of my trip to India (years and years ago), as I tried to buy it there but the man in the one book shop I visited kept ignoring my request or playing deaf, just not dealing with me. I digressed again. Sorry.

What moved me this morning to write about CS Lewis is the affinity I have to his writing and thinking, which sometimes makes me cry. I get him, wish we could talk. After a sentence or paragraph that tugs at me inside, I stop and put the book over my eyes, repeat the words in my mind, sort of breathe them in. I have scribbled him all over creation =). Some of his words, at times, have healed me. He is (was, but is to me) an amazing man.

You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words.

The Problem Of Pain