148 lines

Preparation—getting everything just so, the right desk, the right software and computer, the right room, the right beverage, the right time, the right mindset—is really simply a form of hiding. Sometimes it’s only a few moments, sometimes it’s days, but I always hide before writing every single one of these blog posts. I definitely don’t enjoy the hiding. I mildly enjoy the writing. I love the reading and thinking parts that this 13-year labor of insanity requires. But some people are not only good at the writing, they absolutely love the craft of writing itself.

While you or I may respond with a counter-argument, Tolkien went home and wrote 148 lines of heroic couplet […]

~ Brenton Dickieson from, https://apilgriminnarnia.com/2013/05/21/mythopoiea/

This seemed insane. Who would take an idea for a counter-argument, from a conversation, and rush off to go write for what must have been hours? And then I realized that I do that sort of thing all the time. I run with an idea down some rabbit hole, forming it into something real in the world. It’s only that I don’t it with writing.


Favorable conditions

We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.

~ C.S. Lewis


The same old thing

Now just as we pick out and exaggerate the pleasure of eating to produce gluttony, so we pick out this natural pleasantness of change and twist it into a demand for absolute novelty. This demand is entirely our workmanship. If we neglect our duty, men will be not only contented but transported by the mixed novelty and familiarity of snowdrops this January, sunrise this morning, plum pudding this Christmas. Children, until we have taught them better, will be perfectly happy with a seasonal round of games in which conkers succeed hopscotch as regularly as autumn follows summer. Only by our incessant efforts is the demand for infinite, or unrhythmical, change kept up.”

~ Screwtape from, https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/getting-over-the-horror-of-the-same-old-thing/

C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters from the point of view of a senior-level demon named Screwtape providing instructions to his direct-reports (ie, demons doing actual work) on how to be great demons. The quote above is a wonderful glimpse into just how visionary Screwtape really is.


Men without chests

If one believes in objective order and value, then the failure to feel the proper sentiment in the face of a particular stimulus cannot be justified on the basis of mere personal preference, casually categorized under the rubric of “to each their own”; rather, it must be frankly countenanced as a deficiency in one’s human make-up. As Lewis confesses, “I myself do not enjoy the society of small children: because I speak from within the Tao I recognize this as a defect in myself — just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or colour blind.”

~ Brett McKay from, https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/men-without-chests/

…from C.S. Lewis‘s, 1934 The Abolition of Man.

The more I read, the more I find I want to explore and continue learning.


The other is a disease

This distinction holds for adult reading too. The dangerous fantasy is always superficially realistic. The real victim of wishful reverie does not batten on the Odyssey, The Tempest, or The Worm Ouroboros: he (or she) prefers stories about millionaires, irresistible beauties, posh hotels, palm beaches and bedroom scenes—things that really might happen, that ought to happen, that would have happened if the reader had had a fair chance. For, as I say, there are two kinds of longing. The one is an askesis, a spiritual exercise, and the other is a disease.

~ C.S. Lewis from, http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/06/18/c-s-lewis-writing-for-children/