Monday, January 01, 2007

Nasty snakes, tasty fruits, and bookses, precious!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Since I haven’t blogged in a bit, I’ve been hankering to get back to it. I have no great stirring thought planned out to expound upon, so until such a thought comes, here are some quotes and small musings.

“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

Satan does have a habit of twisting truth, doesn’t he? We were already as much like God as He meant us to be then, made in His own image and likeness, set to rule all the critters, given a wonderful garden to work in and yummy fruit of every sort!

Have you ever seen a loaded fruit tree? Have you seen a treefull of plums, or apples, or fuzzy peaches weighing down their branches in anticipation of being eaten?

I do wonder, though…They had permission to eat from the Tree of Life. Why didn’t they? If they did, would everything have been good, as it was with the Green Lady of Perelandra after refusing to sleep on the Fixed Land? Such musings are rather pointless, I suppose. A practical lesson for me here is to believe and remember what God says, and shun the nasty snake’s lies. Or maybe run away when I first hear his slitherings. I remember a Bible teacher pointing out how progressive sin is, starting not with visible acts, but with seemingly innocent choices and thoughts. God help me, it’s such a burden!

Ach, this leads to a poem by Christina Rossetti:

“Who Shall Deliver Me?”

God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice

Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free


(And yes, I may be as addicted to using other people’s pictures as their quotes.)

Hm, ought I now blog upon the current life and times of Lady Rael, i.e. Hobbitgirl, sometimes known as Eleanor Baggins? Methinks it be sometimes dull. But I suppose that’s my flighty restless Tookishness speaking. For a Baggins my life is quite lively enough, thank you indeed! We had a hobbit hole full of Big Folk for Christmas, with all five of my brothers here. Now one is back in Iowa, one is busy with his social life, several come back and forth from my dad’s house a couple of miles away, and things are much quieter. The computer is much played, snacks much et, and the beds much warmed. I have a theory that winter is supposed to be a time of sleep and food. The bears have it down.

I have been doing a good bit of reading and listening to books on tape. I’m currently reading Till We Have Faces, which I’ve heard is one of C.S. Lewis’ oddest, but possibly most excellent books. I’m taking a class on the great Inkling this Spring, something I never thought would happen. If only my school had a Tolkien class, also! Though, in my Monster and it’s Critics class I think we’re reading a bit of that fellow. Sometimes I wonder why I’m allowed to spend so much school time doing what I love so much, except for in those horridly frightening moments when I never want to look at another page or type another word again. But I mustn’t let the last scare me. By this time next year it shall be over, and I won’t have to ever again read “for school.” None of this grad school stuff for me at present. Unless God tells me otherwise, I plan to gracefully finish my time as college student and come make this little house a cozy hobbit hole for my mom and brothers, write my books, and wait for my brave Samwise. If he must go to Mt. Doom and back, he’ll only be better and stronger for it, so I must be as patient as Rosie and do my own work.

I meant to post this earlier, but needed to get pictures from my laptop and put it off. I’ve been reading all day, and just finished my book. It’s left me quite speechless. I’ll have to digest and read it multiple more times before I can discuss it sanely, but I can give the basic plot and some quotes. It’s a re-telling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid, but more than that it’s about Orual, Psyche’s ugly sister who is angry with the gods. I can’t give out my favorite quotes yet, the humbling triumphant ones, because I want you to find them yourself. But here is a quote expressing the pith of most of the book. It’s all written in first-person from Orual’s viewpoint, and here is the accusation she makes against the gods:

“I say the gods deal very unrightly with us. For they will neither (which would be best of all) go away and leave us to live our own short days to ourselves, nor will they show themselves openly and tell us what they would have us do. For that too would be unendurable. But to hint and hover, to draw near us in dreams and oracles, or in a waking vision that vanishes as soon as seen, to be dead silent when we question them and then glide back and whisper (words we cannot understand) in our ears when we most wish to be free of them, and to show to one what they hide from another; what is all this but cat-and-mouse play, blindman’s bluff, and mere jugglery? Why must holy places be dark places?” (Till We Have Faces, page 249)

Such is her charge, bitter as the most pained heart ever to ask God “Why?” And she is answered, but you must read how and what the answer is for yourself.

Peter Kreeft did a talk on this book, which I must listen too again now. It’s on his website. I confess, I listened to it before I quite read the book a while back, but have forgotten it except that it was even then excellent.

1 comment:

  1. Charity2:20 PM

    Happy New Year dear friend! How nice to read another of your wonderful, humerous, but thought provoking posts! You will have to write them more often... hint hint... ;)
    I love the poem, and the quotes, and of course, the pictures... ;) You do have a way of making things fit together so well! :)
    I promise to write you soon! Glad you had a great holiday! You can make it through this last year! ;)

    Love & Prayers,
    Charity (Lossen)