Narnia

I’m very excited to see this film. And, with a dose of luck (and some semi-alone
time complements of Chris), it looks like it may happen tomorrow
afternoon. I have been awaiting this
release since I first saw the commercial a few months ago. To me the world of Narnia has always been incredibly magical,
for reasons far beyond the actual story line of the movie.

You see, when I was a little girl my father used to read to
me every night. We went through all of
the Tolkien books including the all but forgotten, Farmer Giles of Ham. I’m not
certain whether it was before or after we finished Tolkien’s works that we
began those of C.S. Lewis. But I do
remember the wonder of it all. I would
lie there in bed after my sister had long since drifted off to sleep, listening
to my father describe these magical creatures in far away lands. And I never for one moment believed that they
were not real. There were fauns, and
hobbits, and great battles of good and evil. You just had to know where to look and how to recognize.

My favorite of the
Narnia books was The Voyage of the Dawn Treador. I can’t really remember the specifics of why
at this time. I imagine, though, that it
may have been, in part, because this is the book in which Aslan tells Edmund
and Susan that they must begin to see him in their own world – rather than
continuing to visit him in Narnia. This seemed
to parallel my own life (as all good stories do). For, I knew that my time with my daddy
reading to me was coming to an end; and I would need to seek out the magical
and inspiring parts of life for myself. I was getting older & my sister – with whom I shared a bed – was not
nearly as transfixed by bedtime stories as I. But that time has always been something that I’ve looked back on with
great nostalgia. It was such a wonderful
gift.

When I met Chris, he
loved the idea of bedtime stories, too. He would often come in and watch as I read to Maya. I could feel him standing behind me blocking
just a sliver of the hallway light, as I lulled Maya into sweet and
adventuresome dreams. Then, later, when
I was pregnant with Kajsa, I got so tired during the day, that I often went to
bed before Maya did. Chris, then, took
up the role of bedside reader. I would
lie in bed, hands on my belly, listening to him reading to her from Harry
Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Hobbit. I thought, at those times, about the importance of myth and of fantasy
in a child’s life, and its connection to strong role models. I thought about traditions and how they pass
through the generations. I thought about
magic. I remembered my views that one
simply needed to know how to recognize it when it came along.

So even if The Lord
of the Rings trilogy had been abysmal, and even if Narnia didn’t look
absolutely fantastic, I would gladly go to see them. I would sit in rapt transcendence. Because, to me these are far more than
holiday blockbusters…these are tangible pieces of my personal history. They are small keys to my soul.

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9 thoughts on “Narnia

  1. I agree that fantasy stories for kids are a great idea. I adored them as a child. It was fun to feel magically transported. I really need reread the Narnia series as an adult. I owe it to myself. I bought the set for the kids (for the future), but it wouldn’t hurt to crack it open, right?

  2. I, too, am excited to see this movie. I am hoping to take Kid L over her winter break. She received the compilation as a birthday gift and we have been reading them as a family since we all wanted to hear them again.

    Great stories!

  3. That time wasn’t just magical for you. I reveled in the fact that I had a kid who could get absolutely lost in a story; a kid who could imagine scenes painted entirely with words. Narnia has gotten mostly good reviews. The biggest criticism has been that in typical fashion Disney has made it too nice. For example, Aslan is majestic, but his frightening side is downplayed.

  4. when i first saw previews for this movie, i asked my youngest if she wanted to see it, but she said no, because she saw the original one and didn’t like it at all. since then we started to see more previews and it looks like it is going to be incredible. we’re hoping to get out next week to see it.

  5. I love the way you describe your childhood with these books. I know I loved reading the Narnia books as a kid, and I really loved the Hobbit too, but I have very little recollection of them. I suppose I too should re-read them as an adult. Fantasy and magic is so important in childhood – and children will create it whichever way they can.

  6. Rodney Roe:
    I think that’s part of what was so great. I knew that you enjoyed it, too.

    And I don’t care if Aslan is subtly changed in that hollywood flattening of character way. It will still take me back. I’m very excited.

    better safe than sorry:
    Hi, and welcome. It does look great, doesn’t it? I had the same reaction to the original. Blah! But now…I am positively chomping at the bit.

    Miriam:
    It’s a funny thing re-reading books as an adult. I had to remember not to be too hard on myself. I know that I’ve read some books hoping to recapture magic, only to find myself disillusioned. Until, that is, I stepped back and acctepted that a 30 year old will never have the same suspension of disbelief that a 7 year old does naturally. Then it became much easier to just relax into the stories.

    I’ve worked hard to try not to shut off my children. I believe that we have this inborn connection to magic and divinity. But over time it gets chipped away at, until we simply stop listening to our hearts. But that’s just me…

    I guess I get a little out there sometimes.

  7. As a child I never read fantasy books, they didn’t appeal to me…I am not sure why either. But now as an adult, I love them. I have read, all the Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and I’m finishing the Chronicles of Narnia now….I just wish my parents were like your father was with you. I see what I missed as a child. My son, who’s 20 asked me one day as I was reading Narnia, “Mom, what were you deprived of that you like these books so much?” I think it was the chance to fantasize about distant lands when I was a kid. Though it’s not the same as a child would see it, I’m enjoying the books so much. The movie was fantastic!

  8. Yellow Rose:
    Hello, and welcome.
    Perhaps there was something you needed in your life before you had a desire to read these. Who knows? But, it’s great that you are able to enjoy them now. Better late than never, eh?

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