Monday, May 24, 2010

Northerness

Have you ever read something in a book and thought, "Wow. I have experienced that exact same thing!" That happened to me recently while I was reading a book called The Everything Guide to C.S Lewis and Narnia.

It says that one day Lewis, who at the time was in his mid-teens and drifting into atheism, had an experience while looking at a drawing by Arthur Rackham (who happens to be one of my favorite illustrators!) that illustrated a scene from Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods, in a magazine. I read his account of it and was astounded.

"Pure 'Northerness' engulfed me: a vision of huge, clear spaces hanging above the Atlantic in the endless twilight of Northern summer, remoteness, severity." The book continues to say, "He immediately recognized this as something, some place he had been before, and the memory of Joy, "almost like heartbreak", flooded back."

I was so amazed, because I have experienced the exact same thing! Not from seeing that picture, but from other things...books, paintings, the way the sunlight touches a wall in the late afternoon. It's a feeling of deja vu...that you are seeing something that you've experienced before, long, long ago. It almost makes me think that some people really are spirited away to fairyland in their childhood, and that these feelings are those distant memories... Well, that theory is rather doubtful, but whatever it is, it's wonderful and inspiring. And what really surprised me is that he, too, described it as 'Northerness', which has always been one of the only ways I could describe it to myself.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

How special is that!

I am not sure if I have experience the exact same thing before but I do have deja vu frequently. I have to stand there and take it all in for just a moment. I like how it is described here. It really is perfect.
People ask me are you alright and I have no idea how to explain it to them...but I have lived in this moment before, and now it is here. So I usually shrug and say deja vu. Then they look at me weird so...maybe from now on I will call it Northerness...it really is a perfect description.

Lady Desdemona said...

Have you read "Surprised by Joy" ? That's what that quote is from. It's the most AMAZING book ever, I read it in 8th grade, and it changed the way I thought. It opened up new worlds to me-which is why Lewis is my favorite author. :)

This post made me very happy, Blanchey!!! I go a little giddy when people talk about Northernes, Joy and C.S. Lewis. :) :) :) :)

Lady Blanche Rose said...

Jessica -- Wow, that is awesome that you've experienced that too! I guess it's a foretaste of heaven...maybe what we're remembering is that we've been made for another world.

Addie -- I haven't read "Surprised by Joy", amazingly enough! I REALLY need to...it sounds wonderful! And that is so awesome that the love of his life was named Joy:) I am so happy this post made you happy! :D