Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Ageless Pendragon, by CS Lewis

Written by a master, copied without his permission...but full credit is given to Dr. Lewis for this powerful bit of literature! Moved me almost to tears when I re-read it today... (However, I cry easy...)

[Taken from That Hideous Strength, the 3rd book in Lewis' Space Trilogy, chap 7 --I believe]

On a sofa before her, with one foot bandaged as if he had a wound, lay what appeared to be a boy, twenty years old.
On one of the long window sills a tame jackdaw was walking up and down. THe light of the fire with its weak reflection, and the light of the sun with its stronger reflection, contended on the ceiling. But all the light in the room seemed to run towards the gold hair and the gold beard of the wounded man.

Of course he was not a boy--how could she have thought so? The fresh skin on his forehead and cheeks and, above all, on his hands, had suggested the idea. But no boy could have so full a beard. And no boy could be so strong. She had expected to see an invalid. Now it was manifest that the grip of those hands would be inescapable, and imagination suggested that those arms and shoulders could support the whole house. Miss Ironwood at her side struck her as a little old woman, shrivelled and pale--a thing you could have blown away.

The sofa was placed on a kind of dais divided from the rest of the room by a step. She had an impression of massed hangings of blue--later, she saw that that it was only a screen behind the man, so that the effect was that of throne room. She would have called it silly if, instead of seeing it, she had been told of it by another. Through the window she saw no trees nor hills nor shapes of other houses; only the level floor of mist, as if this man were perched in a blue tower overlooking the world.

Pain came and went in his face: sudden jabs of sickening and burning pain. But as lightening goes through the darkness and the darkness closes up again and shows no trace, so the tranquility of this countenance swalled up each shock of torture. How could she have thought him young? Or old either? It came over her, with a senstaion of quick fear, that this face showed no age at all. She had (or so she had believed) disliked bearded faces except for old men with white hair. But that was because she had long since forgotten the imagined Arthur of her childhood--and the imagined Solomon too. Solomon--for the first time in many years the bright solar blend of king and lover and magician which hangs about that name stole back upon her mind. For the first time in all those years she tasted the word KING itself with all linked associations of battle, marriage, priesthood, mercy, and power. At that moment, as her eyes first rested on his face, Jane forgot who she was, and where, and her faint grudge against Grace Ironwood, and her more obscure grudge against Mark, and her childhood and her fathers house. It was, of course, only for a flash. Next moment she was once more the ordinary school Jane, flushed and confused to find that she had been staring rudely (at least she hoped that rudeness would be the main impression produced) at a total stranger. But her world was unmade; and she knew that. Anything might happen now.

"Tasted the word KING itself", my goodness folks...if that bit of a sentence doesn't do something for you, nothing will! I LOVE that figure of speech...tasted a word. It makes me want to jump up and down and run up the street yelling..."Have you ever TASTED a word before??? I have! I have!"

Yeah, I get a litte mushy over stuff like that. Words, and sunsets, and flowers, and clouds...and friends.

I have several friends who are not well or are struggling at the moment.

I dedicate this post to my friends who are suffering right now...I am thinking of you, and praying for you.


luxlucisvita said...

taste words!!!...

aha!..yep!..I can taste words...some words taste like chocolate with strawberry filling...some words are marmalade...some words taste like tamarind...some words taste like mangoes...some words...can also be quite tasteless..

I try to stay clear of tasteless words..

I will look up this c.s. lewis book..

The Grunt said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog "May". I hope you don't mind me abbreviating your name. C.S. Lewis fan, eh? Right on!

Mayden's Voyage said...

Prism...the book is That Hideous Strength. Book 3 in his Space Trilogy, and all wonderful reads, even if you are not into Sci-fi stuff the books are great. ANd the way Lewis makes up words and languages...I believe you would especially enjoy them.

Grunt...please feel free to call me Cora, my real name...but May works too :)
Thanks for coming by--you are at heart a true story teller and I have enjoyed reading your posts!

The Grunt said...

Cora it is, then.

X. Dell said...

You have a remarkable ear for the English language, Cora, and a real love for words. Orwell would be quite please to know that people such as you existed after 1984.

Mayden's Voyage said...

X. I regret not finishing college...and knowing that you are a few years older than me and in school-- makes me almost love quite a distant and admiring kind of way! LOL :)

If I could do it again, I would get a degree in English Lit, but it is the math that stands in my way! I am just a total flobber head in that regard. Lewis also struggled with math, and was spared by a technicality. Can you imagine, a man like that, with the words in his soul...being shooed away because of math scores?
Anyway...I re-read 1984 last year and actually started writing about Winston finding himself in the US...after a war between the Big Brother and the US. I did it just for fun...and never told a soul because frankly, most people would think I am crazy...

Thanks for your kind words :) Made my day... :)

Mayden's Voyage said...

Prism...I have read things that made the insides of my mouth hurt...cried over descriptions of landscapes...inhaled the fragrance of a Lions mane...and tasted the music of creation...all from words.

And there are times when the words are inside of me with sharp edges...poking me to get out!!! Slicing through muscle and organs and ligaments to be put on paper.

And some words are bitter...and some taste like blood...and some are sweet when they go down, and make me sick when they reach the belly.
And some are as smooth as butter...or as hot as red peppers...and some I have to look up, in both the regular dictionary, and in latin, or greek to be sure I really know what it means.
And I too try to stay clear of tasteless words...what is the point of those? LOL!

X. Dell said...

In my mind's eye, I see Winston as sort of a John Lennon type figure. If JL can wind up in NYC, so can Winston.

You should consider going for that lit degree. I've had studens in their sixties come back and get their degrees. It's never too late.

luxlucisvita said...

Dear me!...You haven't met a real "flobber" in Math till you've actually met me!...Like I think my brains froze in 4th gade fraction...I trudged along by doshing out projects...doing extra time being monitor for a whole month...

Senior year was the teachers were terrors...I got by simply because I sat beside the math wiz' and smiled at him...nya!a!a! ( this is true..he sweated for ways to answer all my tests he!he!...20 years after...he still wants to answer tests for meee!! ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!..eherm! carried away there!)

Go for it!...go for what you want!...You inspired me to think of some things I've always wanted to do...I think I'm going for it as well...

I'm hungry..know what?..I think some words taste like pizza!..yah!


luxlucisvita said...

"doshing"...supposed to be dishing out..


Mayden's Voyage said...

Sigh, I also "freeze up"...when it comes to math. I realized as an adult that I see everything in pictures, kind of like a story. So, History, Science, Language--no problems. However, outside of basic math, I can't seem to follow the logic. I am sure if I had the right teacher, one who understood the way I process things, he/she could break this barrier. I also have to stop being intimidated by it :) Maybe its time to pull out some old Algebra books and give it another try :) I did well in Geometry, but again, it made sense to me...
I so wish you were closer! :)
Thanks for your words of encouragement :)

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