I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Whatcha Reading? Friday

I read A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis this week. I've read it before (during Christmas a couple of years ago—I wouldn't advise such a thing). I reread it because I led a discussion about the book last night in my  "Prose and Parnassus" club I told you about earlier this month.

If you aren't familiar with the book, it's a combination of four journals Lewis kept after his wife, Joy Greshem, died from cancer in 1960. He started the first journal one month after her death and he worked through the gamut of emotions, from grieving, to being inconsolable, to questioning his faith, to picking up the pieces, to finally finding resolution as he closed the fourth and final notebook.

Toward the end of the story, he said this:

“This is the fourth—and the last—empty MS. Book I can find in the house; at least nearly empty, for there are some pages of very ancient arithmetic at the end by J. I resolve to let this limit my jottings. I will not start buying books for the purpose. In so far as this record was a defense against total collapse, a safety valve, it has done some good.”

Writing was therapy that he couldn't find anywhere else. This is the value of journaling. I don't think he ever intended to publish these journals, but by the time he finished them, he apparently realized that they had inherent value to others who were also experiencing grief, so he allowed strangers to see his pain. This is not an easy book to read. In fact, it's brutal. It's like spending time in the heart of a man who truly feels like he has lost his better half. But such honesty gives it magnificent power.

I love something he said in the final few pages of the book: 

“And now that I come to think of it, there’s no practical problem before me at all. I know the two great commandments, and I’d better get on with them.”

He'd worked all the way through the grieving process and was ready to get back to loving God and others. Good stuff.

So what are you reading this week? Care to share a little about it?


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