A spell for the Refreshment of the Spirit

Been enjoying listening to the Chronicles of Narnia lately. So many beautiful, profound statements, often in passing. This passage particularly has been reverberating.

On the next page she came to a spell “for the refreshment of the spirit’. The pictures were fewer here but very beautiful. And what Lucy found herself reading was more like a story than a spell. It went on for three pages and before she had read to the bottom of the page she had forgotten that she was reading at all. She was living in the story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too. When she had got to the third page and come to the end, she said, “That is the loveliest story I’ve ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I’ll read it over again.” 

But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn’t turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not. 

“Oh, what a shame!” said Lucy. “I did so want to read it again. Well, at least I must remember it. Let’s see . . . it was about . . . about . . . oh dear, it’s all fading away again. 

And even this last page is going blank. This is a very queer book. How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can’t remember and what shall I do?” 

And she never could remember; and ever since that day what Lucy means by a good story is a story which reminds her of the forgotten story in the Magician’s Book.

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One thought on “A spell for the Refreshment of the Spirit

  1. The mathematician Paul Erdős used to say that God had a book in which were written of all the best and most elegant proofs for mathematical theorems. Before they were born, a mathematician was shown one or two pages from the book: and throughout their lives would labour to produce their own proofs worthy of the book. Erdős also said: you don't have to believe in God, but you should believe in The Book. Or, as Tolkien put it – in Leaf by Niggle more-or-less the opposite of this CS Lewis story: "it's a gift!"

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