Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We are not

Postwar but  pre-war.
 not after Einstein,  but for someone who we do not know.
 not after Beatles,  but  before  a new form of recording.
 not post  baby boom,  but pre-millennial.

The Lion, The Witch and CS Lewis - 2

2

There were crunching sounds under the Lucy feet. It was not something that she was used to, she was city bread, and she was used to only a little grass here and there. This expense, of not only grass, but trees and brambles was a completely different story. Not only that, but she could not see a building in any direction, and that disconcerted her, almost as much as anything else. Also, there were mountain ranges, in every direction that she looked. She had not realized that there were so many. Actually they were foothills, but she saw them as towering. In the classic book by CS Lewis, this was not extraordinary, because the children were use to it, and thought nothing of it. But these children, coming from a different background, knew no such landscape. It might as well have been on the dark side of the moon. Yes, trees were there, but there were many more, and they were taller, most were second growth, that is they were densely packed in. What this means is before they are where trees, the entire forest was denuded, all of the trees were second growth. What Lucy did not know, was that someone had done so, rather recently. And that someone didn't like trees at all, not one bit.

Lucy had done one thing correctly, even though she hadn't realized at the time: she pulled off a coat that was exactly her size, and this became abundantly clear as to what a good move it was. It was warm and cozy, and she realized that that was a good thing indeed.

Then she found something that probably shouldn't have been there: it was a path, almost as if it were made for two small list people, like her. This was truly odd, because there had not been a path before. Again in Narnia, CS Lewis's style, this would not have been noticeable, but if you think about it, Lucy was flabbergasted. She had never seen the likes of this, ever. Think about it from her perspective, there were stars in abundance, not to or three dozen, there were foothills, which she thought of as towering mountains. All of this would be strange to her.

So when she saw a faun, it was almost a relief. Though she had never seen one, it's shape was a really to her. Though she had not seen one, she knew what it was like in her minds eye. She recognized it almost in an instant.

The faun was busy counting something, though Lucy did not know what it was.

“Hello. Who are you?” It took a minute for the fun to realize that this address was for him, he did not expect anyone to be watching him.

Instead of saying “hello”, or any such thing, he took off his spectacles, and rubbed them. It was almost as if he did not believe his eyes. He put them back on, and sure enough, there was a girl, a real girl. What surprised her the most was his address, because he had never heard the phrase “hello” in his life. That phrase came in with the telephone, and not an instant before.

“Are you a daughter of Eve?”

Now think on this, it is very strange to hear your self called a daughter of Eve, or son of Adam, and don't get me started with all of the strange conglomerations that in my time are common, but in Lewis's time were hushed up, even though they knew them. The Greeks knew them, because they were common in their time, but the English hushed them up. Which was strange, until you realize, they did lot of hushing up. The Greeks did things the right way, and the English did wrong.

“What do you mean 'Daughter of Eve', mine mother isn't Eve.” Lucy was not yet inclined to think of things in the generic way.

“I mean our you a daughter of humanity?” In CS Lewis's time they would say “man” or “woman”. They would not say humanity, because it just didn't seem right, of course we do the reverse. That's because in Lewis's time there was perceived as a huge between men and women, because they wanted their to be a huge gap. Even your grandparents, and maybe even your parents, want to believe.

“That's a strange way of putting it, don't you think?” She had really expected “hello” to be the appropriate response, because she didn't know any better.

“I'm sorry if I don't know the correct response, to wherever you are from. Which, by the way, is where?” The faun did not grow cold in Lucy's response, not in the least. This should tell you something that was invisible to Lucy, namely he had something in devious mind.

“I came in through the wardrobe, in the spare room, which the landlady has rented out.” CS Lewis of course had the room owned by the people who lived there, rather than someone else.

This was a step too far. Spare Roon could be Spare Oom, and wardrobe could be War Drab, but landlady was immediately recognizable as The Witch, in all of her nastiness. And other words, he was probably going to hang by his nails, or worse. But how did she find someone who looked like a daughter of Eve. There had to be something wrong, but what? He didn't have a clue, so it must be something hidden.

“You don't say, from out of the Spare Oom.” Instead of getting the better of him, and thinking that this would be a capture for the witch, he assumed instead that the witch was going to tease him, and then torture him, which is not something that CS Lewis cares to dwell upon. But it is nasty, nonetheless.

Lucy saw that the faun was genuinely distressed - I don't know how else to put it, you will have two look it up - because I knew the words will be strange to you. “Mr. Faun would has taken you and shook you?”

“First of all you can call me Thomas, and down worry about my first name, it isn't important.”

“I can do that, but that isn't what has got you stammered.”

“No it's not, I know you are an agent of the witch. And that means your going to torture me, and then turned me over.”

Now Lucy though she had no experience with witches, know what they were, and she knew she hadn't met any of them. At least, she thought she had not, but one could never know. But one thing struck her, and it provoked not an instantaneous response, but something that bubbled up in side of her. Until finally it oozed out, and made her a sobbing mess. She was unable to speak, and for a time was crying. The faun saw her go from calm to agitated to try to sniff to finally a blubbering mess, all in about five minutes or so. He didn't know what to do, and he didn't know what to say, and he certainly didn't know how to proceed.

Finally she spoke and said: “Do you really think I would hit you, or anything like that? Maybe by youngest brother what, because he's mean. And maybe my older sister would think that it would be good idea, though she probably wouldn't in the end. But either I or Peter would never do anything like that. When I was very small, Peter took me aside and said do not do that, even if your brother or sister might, how shall I put it, egg you on. Its never a good idea in the end. So I have held fast and never done so again.” And she really meant it, as did her oldest brother. The middle to were different, and they would pinch, at least, and probably more so, often to get there way.

This cheered up both of them, it might have even cheered up the faun more then her, because she was only scared, he was more them that. He felt he was going to get a beating from somewhere, not from Lucy, but from a large and scary creature which she had hidden.

“Would you like to walk with me?” the faun suggested, though this sentence really needs a question. Think about this, and you will see what I mean? It just feels right, even though it looks interrogative. You can look up “interrogative” in the dictionary if you like. It is a common word, dressed up as if it his fancy. But don't believe it, it's just putting on ayre.

“Yes I would, thank you.” Her face was beaming ear to ear, so relieved was - I want say “countenance”, but I will say “face” instead. So merrily they formed a rhythm which only the two of them were aware of, it wasn't 4/4, or anything like it.

Soon they were inside of a cottage, built for a faun, or a little girl - it might, it might the younger boy, but not the two larger ones. Inside it their were titles such as “Man the Myth” and other absurdities, that CS Lewis loves to put on bookshelves when he's feeling impish. There also was a book in Turkish called “Arslan Tash”, though it is translated from the Turkish, and doesn't resemble English enemy respect. Deals with the story of the great witch grandmother, who was worshiped on earth, though she did not come from here.

But to Lucy, there were more books than any shall she had seen. It rivaled her grandmother's place, and even the local bookseller. And what is more, grandmother was not the best place to learn things, because she had medical textbooks, which were not the best place for Lucy to find reading material.

“Where did you get so many books, there must be hundreds here.” she was genuinely flabbergasted, what's more even the books she recognized, and their were a few of these, she had never read before. If you think about it, these were clues that not all of the books were native to this world, but smuggled. And by means that you will hear about shortly.

The faun did not think he had so many books, except for Narnia during the cold winter when books were rationed, and he was able to slip some aside. This was a great deal more than naughty, it was a minor form of treason, which in kingdoms or Queendom was on the power with countenancing, or imagining, the death of the monarch. Which is very bad, especially if the monarch really has power. Which, in this case, she did. But you will meet the Queen very soon, and you'll realize that CS Lewis was a good deal nicer then the real monarch would be.

She told him the story that her mother wanted to name the children, Ann, Martin, Rose, and Peter. He recounted that the Queen was named for Jadis in Persian, and she piped up that she'd heard Persian in some context. He didn't tell her that that clue was the final straw that she was from Earth, though he had never been there, he knew that that was the Ur-planet. Which is to say the origin of all of the planets, all of the rest of them are merely copies.

They fell into conversing, as if they were all friends, the way to people what if they had something to share. In the faun's case its that he knew he was caught, and their was nothing left but to enjoy some idol conversation, before being strung up, and all sorts of nastiness. In Lucy's case, she had never had a friend, at least not as Thomas was. Their were adults who were trying to test her, and children who were teasing her, and her siblings, who were trying best they could to the as far away from her as possible. Thus, Thomas was quite different from any of the categories that she had previously thought possible. And if you think back in to your childhood, that was a great deal and them some.

Than Thomas regaled her with the time he was 16, and already there was snow on the ground the entire winter. She believed him instantaneously, because that was just the nature of these things.

Then she realized, a great many minutes, even hours later, that she must be going. It was in fact a suggestion which came from Thomas, though subliminally. He realized that whatever guard was attached to her would have me the rounds, and would be reporting to his commander, and he knew what the orders would entail, because he had given such orders before, and did not like doing so. They were unpleasant, to say the least.

But Lucy was blind this, she had forgotten the earlier part of the story, and was engaged in all of the details of the present. Presently, I will talk about Eddie, though as I am sick, it may be a few days before I will tell the story of the Queen and Eddie, which will be less polite them CS Lewis. I do want to remind you, that this will go no further them the pages of this blog, because, it is to close a parallel to the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. So read it only for satisfaction.