Saturday, December 03, 2005

Subtle Christianity

On a Radio 4, Today Programme, Thought for the Day this week Anne Atkins said she had never met anyone who hadn't read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The obvious comment is that she could get out more; the less obvious is how many people forget they have met me (it was once, in 1986 or 7 and we didn't discuss C.S. Lewis) but I can give evidence that she was talking dingos kidneys - not the first time I have thought that.

I read The Times today in a coffee shop. There was a moving piece about a 2nd World War pilot, Bob Millar, whose daughter had spent 60 years trying to find out what happened to him. All she had by which to judge the father she lost was a letter he had written to her on her first birthday. It was written in too educated a style for her to be able to understand it for several more years, yet giving the girl (now a woman aged 60) a lifelong quest which has recently ended in an Italian lake and the discovery of the wreckage of an aircraft.

The letter included the request that she, '...cling tight to the subtle thing that we call Christianity...' I loved that phrase and borrowed a pen off the waiter to write it down. I didn't have a pen because when out with Lizzie I try not to be an introverted writer character who goes off into his own little world. Not having a pen means I can't write my thoughts down so I may as well stay in the more concrete world and talk.

I read Lizzie the phrase and she said it sounded a bit like C. S. Lewis. Big up to him then. I have not only not read The Lion, The Witch... but I have also not read all the rest of C. S. Lewis although I have dipped and occasionally quoted. There is much interest in him with the Christmas release of the first Narnia film. There are so many books I have not read I thought of putting a list on my side-bar (notice I've learned how to do that - two cheers please).

But I head into this week determined to cling tight to the subtle thing that is Christianity and to hell in a handcart with all those vehement fundamentalists who will cross my path. My faith is subtle. I like it that way.

Of course also note that I disappeared into my study for 20 minutes to write this so even though it is a Saturday and a day free from work responsibilities there is no way my introverted writer character can be shaken off. Anyway Lizzie is busy making the meal for tonight.

1 comment:

hadge said...

I like that too - oh, and I have a Pocket PC so never need to borrow a pen - in fact I've just tapped that lovely phrase into it and I'm sure that if I ever remember to retrieve it some time I'll use it constructively! As for C.S.Lewis, Anne Atkins would think that everyone has read it since she's an obnoxious middle class twat - having said that, as young parents heavily influenced by middle class christianity (having grown up in ‘none-christian' working class families) we read the books to our children who have now all rejected the tidy theology of Narnia for a slightly less constricting version (well, one that lets them live with their boyfriends without shame actually - and why not?!) I could never cope with the fact that in one of the latter books Susan was in danger of not getting into Narnia (heaven/kingdom of God?) because she had started wearing short skirts and lipstick! But Lucy was ok because she was a chubby bucktoothed closet lesbian (or should that be wardrobe lesbian?) and Peter and Edmund were ok 'cause they were blokes. Whoops, sorry for ranting on your blog - should save that for mine - in fact I may even copy and paste this to mine! I love t'internet!