excerpts

 Lewis, grieving the death of his wife, Joy:

   I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace. On any view whatever, to say, ‘H. is dead,’ is to say, ‘All that is gone.’ It is a part of the past. And the past is the past and that is what time means, and time itself is one more name for death, and Heaven itself is a state where ‘the former things have passed away.’
    Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.
    Unless, of course, you can literally believe all that stuff about family reunions ‘on the further shore,’ pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There’s not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We know it couldn’t be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the spiritualists bait their hook! ‘Things on this side are not so different after all.’ There are cigars in Heaven. For that is what we should all like. The happy past restored.
    And that, just that, is what I cry out for, with mad, midnight endearments and entreaties spoken into the empty air.

—-

    What does it matter how this grief of mine evolves or what I do with it? What does it matter how I remember her or whether I remember her at all? None of these alternatives will either ease or aggravate her past anguish.
    Her past anguish. How do I know that all her anguish is past? I never believed before – I thought it immensely improbable – that the faithfulest soul could leap straight into perfection and peace the moment death has rattled in the throat. It would be wishful thinking with a vengeance to take up that belief now. H. was a splendid thing; a soul straight, bright, and tempered like a sword. But not a perfect saint. A sinful woman married to a sinful man; two of God’s patients, not yet cured. I know there are not only tears to be dried but stains to be scoured. The sword will be made even brighter.
    But oh God, tenderly, tenderly.

                                                                   – from A Grief Observed

Ahhh… such unbridled, unabashed emotion from the man whose logic and reason, for who knows how long, has shaped my mind. It’s fitting that he wrote a book about grief, about a woman named Joy. Who can deny that it is when we experience these extremes that life is most tangible, when it is the fullest?

Advertisements

~ by justinhong on August 14, 2007.

3 Responses to “excerpts”

  1. i was just reading this last week! i think what hit me was the intensity of his love for Joy and the honesty in which he grappled with faith and God. it’s beautiful.

  2. wow. that writing is so beautiful… cs lewis’, not yours :)yers aint bad either though. i guess. :Dim calling you today at like… soonish!! lets go to berkeley bowl.

  3. wow… i really enjoyed that justin.  thanks for posting it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: