Thursday, January 28, 2016

Inkling Explorations {January 2016}

It's rather embarrassing, really, how long it took me to come up with a suitable selection for this month's Inkling Explorations.  I simply couldn't think of a good choice for quite a while, but now, at last, I'm ready to share :)

This month's prompt is:

~ a New Year or "new beginnings" passage in literature ~

I'm going with the new beginnings theme, and the excerpt I'm posting is from one of my favorite books, Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (btw, you can read my review of it here, if you're so inclined).  This will contain spoilers, because it's practically the last few pages of the book.  Orual has finally come face-to-face with the gods, and is having her questions answered (that's a lame explanation; Lewis does it better).  She is ready to love Psyche truly, instead of with the obsessive and possessive passion with which she has hitherto treated her.  She is at last about to let go of her bitterness and resentment and doubt and fear, and live anew in the real knowledge of her encounter with the gods.  (And I apologize in advance, it's a little long.)


I stood up then; all wet with a kind of tears that do not flow in this country.  [Psyche] stood before me, holding out something for me to take.  Now I knew that she was a goddess indeed.  Her hands burned me (a painless burning) when they met mine.  The air that came from her clothes and limbs and hair was wild and sweet; youth seemed to come into my breast as I breathed it.  And yet (this is hard to say) with all this, even because of all this, she was the old Psyche still; a thousand times more her very self than she had been before the Offering.  For all that had then but flashed out in a glance or a gesture, all that one meant most when one spoke her name, was now wholly present, not to be gathered up from hints nor in shreds, not some of it in one moment and some in another.  Goddess?  I had never seen a real woman before.


"Did I not tell you, Maia," she said, "that a day was coming when you and I would meet in my house and no cloud between us?"

Joy silenced me.  And I thought I had now come to the highest, and to the utmost fullness of being which the human soul can contain.  But now, what was this?  You have seen the torches grow pale when men open the shutters and broad summer morning shines in on the feasting hall?  So now.  Suddenly, from a strange look in Psyche's face (I could see she knew something she had not spoken of), or from a glorious and awful deepening of the blue sky above us, or from a deep breath like a sigh uttered all round us by invisible lips, or from a deep, doubtful, quaking and surmise in my own heart, I knew that all this had been only a preparation.  Some far greater matter was upon us.  The voices spoke again; but not loud this time.  They were awed and trembled.  "He is coming," they said.  "The god is coming into his house.  The god comes to judge Orual."

If Psyche had not held me by the hand I should have sunk down.  She had brought me now to the very edge of the pool.  The air was growing brighter and brighter around us; as if something had set it on fire.  Each breath I drew let into me new terror, joy, overpowering sweetness.  I was pierced through and through with the arrows of it.  I was being unmade.  I was no one.  But that's little to say; rather, Psyche herself was, in a manner, no one.  I loved her as I would once have thought it impossible to love, would have died any death for her.  And yet, it was not, not now, she that really counted.  Or if she counted (and oh, gloriously she did) it was for another's sake.  The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake.  And he was coming.  The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming.  




14 comments:

  1. That was so beautiful! Just - wow. WOW!!! :) :) :) Thanks for sharing! We don't have a copy of that book . . . but maybe we should!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Rosie! And YES, you definitely should :D

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  2. That is beautiful.

    Thank you, C.S. Lewis. You're the best.

    (And THANK YOU, Olivia!!! I'm so happy you posted this!!)

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  3. Beautiful. "You have seen the torches grow pale when men open the shutters and broad summer morning shines in on the feasting hall? So now." That is a marvelous description. Very nice choice, Olivia. :)

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous, Miss March? Thanks for your comment! :)

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  4. I know next to nothing about this book, but it sounds beautiful.
    "The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake. And he was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming." AAHHHH. THAT is what I call a Good Writer. ;)
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. It really is! Oh, I KNOW, isn't he?! Thanks for commenting, Miss Meg :)

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  5. Ohhhh, I want to read this SO bad...but I want to read the book as spoiler-free as possible first. I will have to bookmark this post and try to remember and come back to it once I read this. :) Lovely photos!!

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    1. Haha, no problem, Natalie! I completely understand--and hey, at least we're even now ;D Thanks!

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  6. Ohhh, WOW. "She had brought me now to the very edge of the pool. The air was growing brighter and brighter around us; as if something had set it on fire. Each breath I drew let into me new terror, joy, overpowering sweetness. I was pierced through and through with the arrows of it." *sigh* Simply gorgeous. . .

    And breathtaking photo choices, too!! :)

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    1. Isn't it, Heidi?!

      Thanks so much! :)

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  7. Wow, I'm speechless. That passage is extraordinary and then to be combined with that picture at the end was very well done, Olivia! :) That was just fantastic!

    It is so nice to be getting back around to the blogs again. What a post to return to my friend! :)

    But, I also came here to let you know that I tagged you at my blog and I would love to read your answers!
    http://writeoncordy.blogspot.com/2016/02/sisterhood-of-world-bloggers-award.html

    Again, thank you for this post!! This book is moving up my to-read list in leaps and bounds!

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    1. Thank you, Cordy! I'm soooo glad you enjoyed it! :)

      Yes, YAY!! So happy you're back, dear friend <3

      And thanks so much for the nomination; sorry it took me so long to get around to it xD

      Anytime! Oh, that makes me really happy--TWHF is one of my absolute favorite books. I think you'll really like it too :)

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